The hand on my arm belongs to one of the Single Ladies. Petite, with short, straight blonde hair, she’s my exact opposite. And she’s in full club-hopping form, in a mini-dress that billows out from her shoulders and gathers at her hips, though it doesn’t hang much farther down than that. Tanned and gorgeous, this is the type of girl that stops motion in a room. It’s not easy to make me feel like a giant, but she does. I feel big and frumpy and inadequate standing near her. Emmalee’s earlier question about my last date echoes and before I even realize it, I’m searching the room for Casanova. Stupid.
“I need a shot,” she says, slurring her words, and pulling me out of my thoughts. “One with a dirty name.”
She looks confused. “Oh.” Turning back to her group, she makes a slow count. “I guess I need eight.”
I look over to confirm the number. After all, she’s not entirely with it, but at least she can count.
“Did you have anything specific in mind?”
“I think … what about a blowjob?”
“Sure thing. I’ll bring them over to you.”
She gives me a toothy grin and nods. There was no way she was going to make it back carrying eight shots by herself. I can use my tray.
“The guy,” she pointed at John, “took my card when we got here, so I guess I have a tab.”
I line the shots on the tray and weave through the crowd to their corner table. I’m glad I’m tall or I would have spilled the shots a few times. Some people just don’t pay attention when they walk.
I reach the girls’ table.
“Blowjobs!” the girl who ordered them yells.
Several of the other girls snicker but they all take a shot and wait for the bride-to-be. She sets the shot on the table and places her mouth over the top. Without using her hands, she throws her head back and slams the shot. She’s obviously done this before. The other girls follow suit.
I notice a pack of cards on the table. They’re not normal playing cards, though. One of the girls sees what I’m looking at.
“We dealt them all out to the girls in the party, and we have to find the characters they depict before we can get rid of them. First person to empty their hand wins.”
I catch sight of one that says “Mullet Man” and “Too Much Makeup Girl” and I have to laugh. It’s a good game for a bachelorette party, and they came to the right place.
“And here comes our very own ‘Beefcake’, now.” The girl giggles, looking past me. That’s my cue to leave.
Turning, I crash into someone right behind me. It’s Casanova. My body reacts instantly to being this close to him and shivers run through my limbs. I jump back, muttering my apology. When I try to brush past him, though, he puts his hand on my shoulder. We stare at each other for a minute before he releases me with an apology of his own.
The familiar notes of Piano Man sound from the jukebox and I make a mental note to change out some of the CDs in it. I love the song but, like The Joker, it’s gotten old. It’s time for a refreshed list. The thought of something mundane like changing out CDs helps me return to normal functionality after my “Beefcake” encounter. It’s not fair that he has such an effect on me. I can normally keep it together around men, especially good-looking ones.
Sliding behind the bar once more, Emmalee catches my eye to cash out her tab. I also notice Adam’s seat empty. He must have left while I was serving the bachelorette party. For his sake, I hope he’s wrong about his wife. He’s a nice guy.
My phone buzzes in my pocket. Taking it out, I check the CallerID. I don’t answer numbers I don’t recognize, so I replace it in my pocket. Who would be calling me at this hour? It’s almost one in the morning and we’ll be making the last call announcement soon. I shrug and get ready for the rush of orders.
John and I are cleaning the tabletops and placing the stools on the tables when my phone buzzes again. It’s the same number I don’t recognize. This time, though, the caller leaves a message. I punch in the code to retrieve my voicemail.
“Luce, I’m hoping you get this soon.” It’s my little sister, Gina. What number was she calling me from? “I…um…well, I need you to come get me.” A long pause. “I’m at the Sandy Springs Police Department.”