Hi guys, as promised, here's Part 5 of Absorbed (part 6 can be found HERE)! I'll be keeping to the original schedule of posting once per week next week, so look for Part 7 late next week. Thanks so much for reading! :)
Tonight, I drive my Jeep, which I’ve had since the “Sam Days,” because it’s low-key. I don’t drive to Sienna’s place, even though it’s a place where I know I’d find the most happiness. Instead, I go out to one of the local bars that I frequent when I’m home in Los Angeles. Located downtown, its a little shithole that’s nestled between a larger bar and a nightclub. I always go there for the cheap beer, good music, and the crowd—a bunch of regulars who give no fucks about whether or not I’m Lucas Wolfe or a bum with a few dollars to spend.
It’s busy tonight, so it takes me a few laps around the area to find a decent parking space. When I finally do park the Jeep—two blocks from the bar—I feed about twenty dollars in change that I find in my center console and cup holders into the meter. Sleeping in too late is a constant curse of mine when it comes to late night drinking, and I’ve had my car towed before after failing to pick it up on time. The hassle of getting it back always pisses Kylie off and things are strained enough with my little sister thanks to what happened with Sienna.
“Get Red out of your head, mother fucker. At least for tonight,” I tell myself.
Shoving my keys into my pocket, I walk the two blocks to the bar quickly. The security guard doesn’t stop me to check my ID. He steps aside, lifts his chin slightly in acknowledgement and gives me a shit-eating grin. I haven’t been here in a while, but the last time I left with one of the bartenders.
As I settle into a seat at the dimly lit bar, my phone vibrates. At first, I ignore it and focus my attention on Drowning Pool’s “Bodies,” but after it buzzes a few more times, I drag it out of my pocket. I’m not surprised to find a string of messages from my sister.
11:29 PM: Are you alright?
11:44 PM: Because Wyatt said you’re having a hard time.
11:48 PM: Lucas?
Making a mental note to strangle the shit out of Wyatt the next time I see him, I let out a frustrated sigh as I message her back. I’m nowhere near as quick as Kylie, and no sooner than I let her know that I’m alright and that I hope she has a good night not screwing with me, she responds again.
11:52 PM: You answered too fast . . . . Did something happen?
One of the bartenders—thankfully not the same one who took me home a couple months ago—leans across the counter and her lips thin into a wide smile. “Relax, Mr. Rockstar. You’re about to break that thing.” She dips her head down to the phone I’m clutching in the palm of my hand. I glance at it too and loosen my grip, earning a “that’s better” from the blonde. “Haven’t seen you around in a long time. Busy?”
For a few seconds, I try like hell to come up with her name. I drag my eyes over her, searching for a nametag. When I don’t see one, I lift the corners of my mouth and shrug. “New music and shit.”
“Well then I’m glad you’ve been away.” Slinging her long blonde hair over one of her bare shoulders, she straightens her back but not before purposely squeezing her tits together so that they come close to spilling over the top of her black halter. “I fucking adore your music.” She winks one of her heavily-lined dark eyes at me, which is a clear invitation. I give her a dick response by asking for my usual, seasonal Sam Adams, and her smile grows even wider.
I follow her movements as she grabs my drink, which are all a little more dramatic and sensual than they normally would be, and finally spot her nametag pinned to the bottom of her shirt. She pretends to be oblivious to the appreciative grins of the rest of the mother fuckers sitting at the bar when she returns to me with one bottle more than I asked for, which I gratefully accept. “Want me to start a tab for you?”
I take a gulp of the beer, downing more in twenty seconds than I’ve drank all night, before nodding. “I’ll be here awhile.”
“Want me to hold on to your keys?” she asks.
It’s yet another invitation—one that any other man at this bar would grab and fuck in a second—but I’m not them. I shake my head. “I’ve got good self-control.”
She takes a step backward, wiping her hands on the fronts of her tight jeans. “Oh, I’ve heard. Let me know if you need anything, ‘kay?”
“Don’t worry, I will.”
She focuses her efforts on another customer, leaving me to my beer and my misery. I sit, hunched over my drink, wondering what the fuck is wrong with me. Two months ago and I would have taken the bartender back to a hotel and taken everything she was willing to give me.
Now—now I’m this.
So fucked up that I can even hear Sienna’s soft, Southern accent over the sound of Slipknot’s “Snuff” playing on the jukebox.
I tip my beer bottle up and down the rest of my drink. I drink the second one a little quicker, trying my goddamn best to pretend like I don’t still hear Sienna’s voice as I drink. When I finish it in record time, I signal the bartender. She holds up a finger, indicating that it’ll be just a moment, and I give her a nod. When she turns back to her customer, I let my gaze follow, and for a second, I’m left wondering where I’ve seen the dark-haired woman before.
Did I fuck her?
I shake that thought out of my head because I remember every one-night stand and every second of on-the-road sex I’ve ever gotten.
Is she one of Kylie’s friends?
But I wipe that idea away almost as quickly as the last. My sister doesn’t do female friends, she doesn’t trust anyone but her friend Heidi.
So why the fuck do I recognize the brunette?
A backstage pass, maybe? Or a benefit? Or a—
And then it comes to me like a kick square in my balls—an old memory of standing outside of an apartment a couple years ago, ready to apologize for my most recent fuck-up, and this woman answering the door.
Telling me that her roommate, Sienna, was gone.