“Hey, girl!” The girl, Penny, called out after seeing us. And she grabbed the guy, Ethan, with her, and hurried over to join us. “I’m so glad you came!”
“Hey, is this your best friend you’re always going on about?” The boy, Ethan, asked. His short red hair, combed viciously highlighting his tawny eyes. He was tall, but a boney thing. His arms couldn’t be much bigger than mine, and the way his suit fit it seemed loose in certain areas. Almost as if it was two sized too big for him. “Damn, I can’t believe you’re real. We were all starting to think Bekah was making you up.” He laughed and hearty chuckle.
“Ethan, that’s so rude.” The girl, Penny, frowned at him through thick lashes. Her expression exasperated, as she leaned over the table and gave me a hug. “Ignore him. “ She scoffed. “I’m pretty sure he was dropped on his head when we were kids.”
After we hugged, she moved on to Bekah before finally sitting back in her seat. It was then I noticed the similarities among the two, my inner mind rolling her eyes that I hadn’t noticed in the first place. Like him her hair was red only more tamed, and accented with a few low lights. They had the same eyes, too, and the same slender frame. In fact, the only thing even remotely different about the two was their nose. Whereas Penny’s was more short and bubbled at the end. Ethan had the nose of an aristocrat, which I found oddly suited him. “It’s nice to meet you, too.” I said.
In my mind, I let myself go back to the conversation I had with Bekah on the drive up here. Her words of advice replaying in my mind like a broken record as she went through the list of everyone she couldn’t stand that worked at SMASH. Ethan and Penny, ranking high on that list. They’re absolutely nuts! She called them. No manners, no boundaries, and they’ll steal your tips, too! Sitting back, I observed her alongside them, laughing and whispering about some latest gossip about someone named Wesley? She could have fooled me with the act she was putting on. And immediately I felt ashamed for the twins, it wasn’t right the things she had said about them. Even if what she said was true, then she shouldn’t be acting as if she felt any different.
“Yeah, I heard he might stop by tonight, too!” Bekah cooed along with Penny. The two of them huddled against each other, their arms wrapped as if it helped to contain their obvious excitement. “That means you know who might actually make an appearance for once.”
“You know who?” I asked, curious as to who had them so suddenly worked up.
“Who?” Ethan pushed back in his seat then, and folded his hands behind his head. “Mr. Sutton, of course.”
“What’s the big deal about Mr. Sutton being here?” I asked confused. “Isn’t this his club, and an event he is throwing?” I shrugged. “Wouldn’t he have to come?”
“No. Not necessarily.” Penny answered honestly. “He throws them yes, and he owns the club but, he owns many other businesses, too, and rarely has time for anything else.”
“It’s silly, I know.” Bekah turned to me, and tucked a section of her short auburn curls back behind her ear. A sure tell sign that this wasn’t something she wanted to go into detail about. Either because it was an overly long story, or because it wasn’t that of importance. “I’ll explain later.” Ah. So it’s a long story, I say to myself. Rolling my eyes in my head as to how the matter of one man showing up to an event, could really be too long of a story for her to tell.
“So, Raelyn.” Ethan started after a minute. He apparently didn’t care much for this particular course of gossip, and I made a mental note to ask Bekah more about why later. “I hear you’re going to be starting with us soon? What are your future goals here?”
Goals? I asked myself. What the- “What do you mean?”
“I mean, people only come to work here for the purpose of putting themselves out there. To be seen, and hopefully discovered.” He grinned, rolling his eyes at my lack of understanding.
“I don’t have any “goals” for why I am coming to work here.” I shrugged.
“So you don’t aspire to be an actress?” Ethan scoffed.
“A model?” Penny through out there as well.
“No. I am just trying to finish paying for my degree.” I said, a smiled escaping my lips before I could reel it in. I didn’t want them to think I was making fun of their ideas.
“See, I told you.” Bekah nodded her head, and crossed her legs. “This is what I’ve been forced to live with the past few years. A realist instead of a dreamer.” I rolled my eyes as Bekah and the others broke out in a fit of laughs. “No. But for real, Raelyn here is going to be a serious journalist someday.” Bekah said, her expression oddly proud. “You should read some of her stuff, it’s really quite good.”
“Sorry, but I’m not much of a reader.” Penny said.
“Me either,” Ethan cleared his throat. “But good luck with it all.”
From the corner of my eye, I could see Bekah scolding the two with her death stare. “Thank you,” I said, and forced a smile. Then standing up, I searched the back wall of the club until I found what I was looking for. “Excuse me, I’m just going to run to the ladies room for a minute.”
“Do you need me to show you where it is?” Bekah asked, her face laced with an apology.
“Oh, no.” I smiled. “I promise, I’ll be right back. I’m fine.”
“Okay, but call me if you get lost.”
Lost? I asked myself. How could someone get lost in a club? Turning away from the table, I slowly moved to push through the sea of people gathered along the dance floor. The instant I reached the halfway point, I seriously started debating calling Bekah to claim defeat. As sure as she said it, with the room so dimly lit, and with all the hustle of everything happening at once. I highly underestimated just how big this place was. Standing on tip toes, I tried with little luck to find my way back. .
The club itself was split into six different sections. The largest being the dance floor, which sat nestled in the center of all the chaos. Next there was the Private lounging areas, which you could find along the length of the largest wall. Three almost alcove looking booths sitting in the actual wall itself. A heavy red curtain in the place of where a door would might be. Off beside that there was the bar, where a massive mahogany bar top stood a good two inches taller than me. The final section, the VIP section, sat adjacent to the Private lounges, rose three stories high. Each one packed with a finer assortment of couches and tables, reminding me of more stadium style seating in the sense how they sat back within the wall. Giving them a perfect view of the dance floor like a field at a Baseball game.
Each wall was painted white, and periodically throughout the rooms hung massive chandeliers I found to be an odd choice for lighting in a club. I expected disco balls, and flashing neon lights with a DJ and a stripper pole. Glancing around I noticed even the glasses used for cocktails were made with a heavy glassware you wouldn’t expect either. What happened to plastic cups, and bendy straws? “Hey, watch it!” A voice bellowed out at me, from my right. In the chaos which is my inner thoughts, I had completely forgotten where I was, and had run right into a couple. The woman dress head to toe in a black ball gown. Her blonde hair pulled up into a bun, and the soft blue of her eyes almost predator like as she scowled down at me.
“I am so sorry.” I immediately offered, embarrassed by my lack of attention I had shown.
“You’re sorry?” The woman was in an outrage now. Throwing her arms down, and causing a scene. I blushed at her comment, my cheeks burning. “You completely rush into me, and what? You’re just sorry?”
I opened my mouth to answer, my heart racing as more and more couples turned to face what was turning out to be an event all its own, but froze. I didn’t know what to do. “Is there a problem here?” A voice broke through the crowd then, and all eyes dropped at the sound of it. The voice itself, deep and rich, and demanding. Had I been smart, I would have fallen suit with everyone else but, instead I turned and came face to face with its owner. The lure of suspicion winning out over my better judgement. “Shall I ask, again?” He asked, his toned annoyed.
“No.” I answered him. The knots in my stomach back from before, only this time they were twisted so tight I thought I might be sick.