Crashing Back Down: The Saloon
Walker’s hand rested right on the small of my back as we made our way to our usual spot at the back bar top in The Saloon. Even with all of the line dancing boots stomping and music blaring, I could still hear my breath and heart beat quicken at the slightest touch from him. Through the dim lightings I turned and beamed up into his dark green eyes, happy that we were not fighting anymore. Right before we left the house I promised myself that Randy would not assault my thoughts and ruin the evening, but it was getting harder as the smell of this bar brought back so many memories.
The dirty carpet reminded me of the first time Walker and Randy took my best friend Cali and me here during freshman year. She and I could not believe that these guys brought us to such a dump. After a few shots, Cali and I were tearing up the dance floor, making Randy and Walker teach us every line dance possible. The smile on the bartenders’ faces brought back how Randy knew every one of the veteran barkeeps. Hot red filled my cheeks, most of the people here knew Randy before he died and here I was making goo-goo eyes at his best friend. Suddenly, I felt sick.
Climbing into the bar stool, I gestured a polite nod at a not-so-pleasant grin lurking at the other end of the bar. Cindy’s long blond hair whipped around as she made her way huffing to the back room. After the events of the last time we saw each other I would have done the same thing. I smiled to myself knowing that tramp had sunk her claws into Walker’s flesh for the last time. The little moment of victory was incredibly sweet. I heard Walker chuckled next to me, obviously seeing my triumphant grin, ordering us two Bud bottles and shots of whiskey, calling it our usual to our bartender. His hand slid into mine as I turned to face him. The dark haired bartender smiled warmly and winked at me as she placed our order in front of us, apparently she enjoyed my effect on her coworker just as much as I did.
“To roommates,” Walker grinned at me holding his beer up for mine to clank against it. I replied with a giggle, “To us,” and took a long swig of my beer. Next, we quickly through back our shots. I thought Walker was going to spit his out from laughing at the face I made while letting the amber liquid burn my throat.
“Come on Mags, don’t turn into a light weight on me.” Walker knew exactly how to get my attention and with that I gestured to have two more shots slammed onto the bar. We smiled at each other saluted to a good night out and fired the second round down. Chasing my whiskey with some beer, I popped off the stool and held my hand out for Walker. My favorite dance was starting and I was ready to do some boot scooting. Smiling, Walker grabbed my hand and started to lead me onto the dance floor.
We jumped in line and started to dance away, laughing and letting our drinks soak into our blood. Slowly I started to care less about who was watching, starting to care more about the times Walker’s hand brushed my shoulder or hip. It was amazing to me how nice the shivers traveling down my spine felt. Huffing and puffing as the song ended, I threw my arms around Walker’s neck and kissed him hard on the mouth. He responded quickly and passionately but pulled away just as fast. I leaned back on my heels to frown at him, but his smile was too adorable to even fake a mad face at.
A two-step started and Walker started to lead me around the dance floor. He pulled me in really close and kissed my hair before really getting into rhythm with the rest of the couples. As we made our way around the circle our eyes met with tons of people we knew and to my surprise they wall waved and smiled warmly. Maybe no one saw me as the harlot I felt I was, the notion was comforting.
Once the song came to an end, I felt Walker’s soft lips barely brush my ear asking me if I was ready for another drink. My entire body flushed with excitement as I agreed and let him lead me through the crowd by our intertwined fingers. I was practically giddy with the attraction and lust by the time the beer brushed my lips. I turned my back to the bar, leaning against it to relax and people watch for a moment. Walker turned to me, resting his hand on my knee and leaned in to give me a sweet kiss on the cheek, “I’m having a great time, for the first time in a long time…” His husky, low voice trailed off in my ear as a goofy grin spread across my face. I nodded and mouthed the words me too in his direction.
A familiar pair of eyes caught my attention from across the bar and my blood went cold. Kris Peseta was a fling that had entertained me during one wild spring break cruise Cali and I took together during college. Kris and his fraternity brother, Kyle, were a secret buried down deep in our girl’s week that we swore to never tell our guys about. Randy and I were in the middle of an epic battle of stubbornness during that time and were on a “break”. That week had forever been referred to as our spring fling but only in the confidence of our friendship.
I had barely seen Kris since, even though we went to the same college and were both Greek. I think it was because I avoided him and the handful of times I had seen him, he always referenced my love for key lime pie or some other snide reference to our sexcapade of an encounter. I gulped as he held his beer up to gesture hi to me with a wide devilish grin on his face as his eyes darted to my ringless finger. To my horror he started to make his way around the bar to us. My entire body tensed as his velvety voice, as sexy as he could make it, breathed a hello in my direction. I did the polite half hug, kiss on the cheek, “Hey Kris,” that he went in for as Walker’s grip on my knee tightened.
Pulling away as quickly as I could, I put my hand on top of Walker’s and introduced the guys. Walker’s eyes were sending laser beams into Kris’ as they greeted each other, not even shaking hands.
“How do y’all know each other?” Walker was protective of me, the whole time I have known him he has been, this was not a new response and I was a little uneasy to answer the question. While I fumbled for words, Kris answered for me, “We met on a cruise a few years back during spring break,” he paused, winked at me and then unfortunately added, “We had a really nice time getting to know each other.”
That was it, the deal breaker. I saw the statement register in Walker’s brain, settle in, and then fester. His face was boiling red within seconds. I was paralyzed. I knew I was about to watch a train wreck and there was nothing I could do about it. Right when I saw Walker’s fist connect with Kris’ cheek bone, I knew this was going to be the beginning of another terrible night.
For another Crashing Back Down story, check out The Sunbaked Saturday
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