All days seem the same, and this one is no different from all the others. I still own Rockin' Rose and spend my nights serving liquor to those who couldn't afford it. I am still the standoffish and secretive young woman that the customers love to speculate about. But they know better than to say anything to my face. I do, after all, own the only source of legal alcohol in this godforsaken wasteland.
Said godforsaken wasteland is Lolita, Texas. Never heard of it? Well neither did I until I stumbled upon it after getting lost on a family vacation to Houston when I was ten. And when I say family vacation, I mean my mother was going to try to bust my dad for cheating while away on a "business trip". In the end we made it to Houston just in time to catch my dad between his travel agent's legs.
Nonetheless, Lolita suits my personality just fine. A bit religious, but I haven't been confronted about my frequent church absences; frequent meaning I've never stepped foot onto Father John's shack that he calls a church. The people are fairly friendly; just a bit too nosy for my tastes. I've lost track of how many times I've caught someone peeping in my kitchen window.
But people, even religious church goers, need an outlet. Somewhere they can relax and dance their troubles away free of judgment and crosses. That's where I come in with my club, if you can even call it that.
You see, a Lolita club is a bit different from a New York club. There are no black lights or disco balls. There isn't bone rattling base or girls with dresses that covered less skin than a t-shirt. No, in Lolita everything takes a much more soothing pace.
The DJ is replaced with a local band of kids playing country or jazz, take your pick. The dance floor is a simple clearing surrounded by tables where folks can sit and watch the brave dance while eating a burger or nursing a drink. The disco ball is swapped for simple fluorescent light bulbs that brighten the common house.
The bar is the only thing that's exactly the same as in any nightclub. It's loaded with alcohol that varies from beer to wine, vodka to gin, and everything in between. That bar is where I currently stand, carefully wiping the rim of a used glass with the towel slung over my shoulder.
There is a heavy thud and the squeal of a stool as someone takes the place in the space opposite where I stand, but I don't look up. If they want something they'll speak.
"Aren't you going to greet your favorite customer?" A scratchy voice demands, rough from years of sucking on cigarettes.
I glance up at the man it belongs to and quirk an eyebrow. "You know I don't pick favorites, Joe." I murmur and return my focus to the line of glasses in front of me.
Joe is the town alcoholic, and while I value his money, I certainly do not require or desire his company. He is one of the few I've had to pull the gun on in my years here and I don't regret it for a minute. Seeing the fear in his dull brown eyes is one of the few pleasures I've found during my stay.
But I never pull out a weapon unless provoked, so I wait for him to speak again. And, of course, he doesn't disappoint. "Don' be difficult, Rosie girl. I jus' wanna drink s'all." I sigh and place the glass down, relinquishing my attention to the pesky customer.
His sunken eyes are lined with dark circles and shadowed by overgrown grey eyebrows. His receding hairline displays a shiny bald head adorned with stray patches of wintery hair that stick out this way and that. Multiple chins giggle when he speaks and a large belly spills over the waistband of his belt. His t-shirt is covered in multicolored stains of God only knows what and his jeans are so worn there's barely anything left of them. The worst part, though, is the toothless smile.
A smile that he directs my way in an attempt to be alluring. I simply cast him a disapproving glare and cross my arms, leaning my hip against the bar. "How many drinks have you had tonight, Joe?"
Although I am the only legal source of alcohol, that doesn't mean people don't get it in other ways. Sam Moore, who happens to be good friends with Joe, is the most successful moonshiner for miles around and I have no doubt that Joe had a rather large sample earlier this evening.
Joe sticks his lip out like the child he was and pouted. "Jus' a few. Maybe one o' two." Yeah right. Joe has one or two drinks for breakfast, and it's almost three in the morning. Maybe breakfast time for some, but Joe gets up at dinner time for the average citizen of Lolita.
Just ten more minutes, I think to myself as I take in a deep, calming breath. There's no need to go ballistic on the man; I've done that enough lately. So I force a smile on my lips and drop my towel on the floor.
"We both know that's not true. Now, why don't you go home and get some rest? Church is at nine." I crouch down and grab the towel as I speak, reaching up under the counter to grab the gun I keep hidden there while returning to my feet. Joe, while sweet as sugar when drunk, can get quite violent when denied a drink.
Joe huffs, slamming the palm of his hand down on the counter with a sharp smack. I don't flinch like he wants. Instead I wrap the gun tighter in the towel. "I don' need no church. What I need is a stiff one to finish the night off. Why don' you be a good girl and give it to me?"
Shoveling down all my anger, I school my face into a look of cool indifference. "Because you'll only hurt yourself. Don't make me use the gun on you again, Joe." A pleading note escapes into my voice when Joe's face begins to burn bright red. His arm snaps across the bar so quickly I don't see it until his hand clutches the collar of my shirt.
"Shut up," he growls and drags me closer until my hips press against the counter separating us. He glares down at me and I glare right back, making sure to keep my temper in check. The last thing I need is to shoot the man.
"Now you listen here, girl, and you listen good. When a man asks you for somethin', you get it for him. It ain't the place of a woman to deny a man what's rightly—" He stops his mantra the moment I press the barrel of the gun into the soft flesh covering his heart.
"Let me go, Joe. You know how good my aim is from far away; imagine how great it is right now." Fear flashes in his eyes but he doesn't release me. Instead, he frowns and tightens his grip on my collar.
My anger swells to the surface, but just as I'm about to bring my thumb up to flick the safety Joe is ripped away. I stumble back and look up just in time to see Joe being escorted, if you counted being dragged along by a man twice his size as escorting, to the front doors, much to my chagrin. I could have handled him fine on my own.
Taking a calming breath I return to the glasses, ignoring the excited murmurs of the people currently frozen on the dance floor. Assuming that they won't come up to me, I place the gun back on its hook and am about to put the glasses on their designated shelves when someone clears their throat behind me.
I spin with a shocked gasp to find Joe's escort standing inches away, my hand over my heart as I try to calm its erratic beating. "I'm sorry, sir. You startled me," I murmur after a moment and search the shadows cast by his hood for any semblance of a face. When all I can find is darkness, I immediately lean against the counter to stroke the handle of the gun. I'm a woman, but damn it I'm not helpless!
He watches me for a moment more, tilting his head quizzically as he takes a seat across from me. I watch him too, trying to recognize the body beneath all the dark clothes. Who is he?
"You don't know me." He finally says and I shiver at the silky baritone voice that comes from beneath the hood. There is a slight lit to the end of his words, making him sound almost Russian. But no matter how pleasing the voice is, the man is a stranger. And in this town, strangers are the equivalent of North Koreans. Unwanted and distrusted.
I run my finger over the gun again and regard him warily. "What's your business here, stranger? These types of people won't take to you unless you've got yourself a damned good reason and incentive."
He chuckles and brings his hands up onto the counter. I watch his long fingers tap against the scratched wood, practically mesmerized. God it has been too long since I've been with a man properly.
"Well right now, I've got business with you."
I scoff and jerk away from the counter, returning my focus to the glasses instead of the man sitting in front of me. If I only I could see his face… "If you wanted a drink you should have come earlier. We stop serving at two thirty." I glance up at the clock and nearly sigh in relief. Five minutes left.
"But if I came earlier, I wouldn't have been able to save you just now."
I freeze in the act of shelving the glasses and turn to glare at the stranger. "Who the hell do you think you are walking into my bar and dealing with my customers? They're my responsibility, not yours. I didn't go asking for your help and I'm not about to thank you for it. So if that's what you were looking for the door is that way." I snap and throw my towel on the counter. I am so done with assholes for tonight.
Grabbing my bullhorn from its shelf, I bring it up to my lips as I make my way into the center of the mass of people. "Alright everybody! It's almost three o'clock, and you all know what that means." The collective groan almost makes me smile. Almost. "I want everybody out of here in two minutes. Any stragglers will be shot." There are a few laughs and I glare at the offenders. "You think I'm joking? Stick around and we'll see how you close you become with my pistol."
Well that sent 'em all flying out the door. Even the band grabs all of their shit in record breaking time. Before I can count to thirty every table is empty and the dance floor is barren, with the exception of various plastic cups and paper plates. In my defense, it is Texas. They don't need any fancy tableware, so the only glasses I buy are shot glasses. The Solo cups are washed and reused and the paper plates are recycled.
Sighing softly, I turn to grab a trash bag when I see him. The man is still at the bar, this time with a gun. My gun.
Fear instantly pools into my gut, compelling me to take a step back. The man moves to his feet, clicking his tongue in a chiding manner. "Not happening, doll. Step away from the door." Hesitantly, I move forward a step. A small step closer to both a stranger and, most likely, my death.
He jerks the gun and I suppress a flinch. I won't give him that satisfaction. "Closer."
Irritation finally bubbles. Who the fuck does he think he is that he can order me around? I'm not a domesticated bitch. I'm a fucking tiger, goddamn it! "You're going to have to be a bit more specific. I don't have all night."
His deep chuckle flows over me, inducing another shiver. God that sound is so sexy…
No. I will not be attracted to this man. He is pointing a gun at me for Christ's sake! But there is something about him, something that draws me in. Damn him!
"Even when someone's got a gun trained on you, you're still witty. I admire that, I really do, but right now I need you to come here." This time he points to the floorboard just in front of his own feet.
With a resigned sigh I stalk forward, glaring at the place I thought his eyes are, and cross my arms once I get to my designated spot. "Happy?" I growl, focusing my gaze on his chin which is visible up close. It's a nice chin, as far as chins go. Tanned and lightly dusted with a week's worth of stubble.
"Immensely," he breathes and brings his fingers up to my face, catching my hand when I move it up to slap his wandering digits away. "Be a good girl. I don't want to hurt you." He brushes my cheek and I let out a startled hiss. I try to shy away but he catches my jaw roughly, holding it in place for a moment before returning to his gentle stroking again.
"What do you want then?" I murmur, now fighting not to lean into his warm hand. It had been far too long since I've had proper human contact and even longer since I've been with a man. The fact that there is one in front of me and more than willing for physical contact is almost overwhelming. I will not allow myself to be raped I will not like it I will not want it-
"French?" He interrupts my mantra with a question of his own.
"What?" I ask, startled.
"Your accent. You try to hide it, but it's very apparent that you're just as much a foreigner here as I am when you're distracted." He tilts his head to the side and brings a chestnut curl up to his nose. He inhales deeply and sighs. "Definitely French," he mutters, absently rubbing the strands of my hair between his thumb and forefinger.
I gaze up into the shadows with open-mouthed shock. Who the fuck is this guy? No one has ever been able to read me so easily; I've made sure of it. If you never show any emotion other than anger it's quite difficult to find anything else. But this stranger saw through it all in five minutes. And no matter how terrifying that is; it was also a major turn on. With his knowing nature, he'd be an amazing lover.
"No matter," he murmurs as he reaches down to toy with the button on my jeans. "I'll figure it out later." The moment he unlatches the button and brushes his fingers over the sensitive skin at my waist I lose all sense and act on instinct.
I grab the gun. He's too surprised to struggle, so I easily remove it from his grasp and slam the barrel into his gut. He jerks back with a grunt, hands high in the air when I keep the gun trained on him.
"Don't move," I command breathlessly as I back away towards the door. Once reaching it, I turn the lock. Keeping the gun pointed at the stranger, I make my way around the bar and draw all the shades over the windows.
Once I'm sure that there is no way for anyone to look in I turn on him again. "Take off your pants." He freezes in the act of unlocking the door. A smirk twists my lips at the thought of him escaping. As if!
"Pardon?" He chokes out and I roll my eyes, dropping the gun on the nearest table so I can shimmy out of my jeans.
"You heard me. Pants off. And I'll require your name, too. I don't sleep with anyone without knowing their names, attempted rapists included." His hands hesitate on the belt of his jeans and I glare at him. "If they don't come off now, I'll do it myself."
He chuckles and tosses the useless piece of leather into the corner without further prompting. "Isaac. Now would you mind telling me why you're willingly having sex with me after I attempted to rape you?"
I smirk and pull my top over my head, leaving me in only my bra and thong. I saunter over to him and reach up to unzip his sweatshirt. "Define rape," I murmur, going up on my toes to press a kiss to the first glimpse of tanned chest. He isn't wearing a shirt, which I find odd. Either he is too poor to afford one or he simply chose not to wear one. But he smells like soap and toothpaste, and people who can afford those pleasantries can most definitely afford a t-shirt.
"When a person, usually a male, forces unwanted sexual intercourse on an unwilling body. Often viewed as illegal." He interrupts my musing with his accented voice and I welcome the distraction. I'll ponder him later after he was long gone and out of my life.
"What we were just doing, and will continue doing, is entirely legal." That's completely true. I've had enough experience with unruly men to escape their clutches when I really want to. But when Isaac is near me, I want him to stay there. And right now, I want him even closer.
I reach up and push the hood from his head, grinning when I see the face hiding underneath. Isaac is beautiful in every sense of the word. With a straight nose, full lips, dark hair, and long eyelashes he could be considered perfect. His green eyes blend into a dark gold near the pupil, making them all the more piercing. High cheekbones a model would kill for, a strong brow and a muscular body complete his perfection.
This adds yet another question to my list. Being as handsome as he is, why would he resort to rape? Surely there are hundreds of other girls that would be more than willing to sate his desires. But here he was not five minutes ago with a gun pointed at me and a hand in my pants.
Isaac gazes down at me as he shrugs out of the sweatshirt, watching me contemplate with a small smile curling his pierced lip. I gaze at the silver ring on the right side of his lip, its appearance alone sending another wave of desire through me.
He drops his burning hands on my hips and I gasp, tilting my head back as I revel in the sensation. It has been far too long since I've felt like this, I think as he trails his palms up my sides until he reaches my bra. He undoes the clasp with the ease of an experienced lover and drops it unceremoniously.
Stepping closer so we're chest to chest I crane my neck to look up at him. He's at least a foot taller than me, and I'm not short. I stand at five feet nine inches from the ground, putting Isaac somewhere near seven feet. I can only imagine how large the rest of him is.
"Define legal," he murmurs and drops his lips to my neck, brushing them up and down the length at an agonizingly slow pace. I moan and tug at his boxers, effectively freeing his erection, but before I can get my hands on it he catches them. "Answer me," he growls, licking the shell of my ear seductively.
Smiling, I wrap my arms around his neck and draw him closer. "Completely consensual, hot, sweaty, sex. Now give me your dick, or I'll saw it off like a—" He cuts me off again, and I would have been annoyed if he hadn't have done it with his lips.
Those full lips press against mine roughly, wringing a needy moan from me. He chuckles softly and swipes his tongue across the seam of my lips. "You have such a way with words." I ignore him and open my mouth, nearly moaning again when our tongues meet.
He groans and walks us forward until my back is pressed against the wall. His hands cup my ass and I use that leverage to hoist myself up and wrap my legs around his waist. I gasp when his erection presses against my sex, instantly sending zings of pleasure through me.
I pull away from his mouth to press my lips to his ear. "Condom?" I whisper and he grunts in affirmation. I lift myself away so he can effectively trap all of his baby making liquids and reach down to tear the lace thong off of my body. I have plenty more and it's an old one anyway.
Isaac paused the moment he heard tearing fabric but when I'm about to ask what's up he slams into me. I cry out and claw into his shoulder desperately, the sudden pain and pleasure leaving me breathless. It has been too long and Isaac is quite large, but I can't care less.
"So tight," he groans and pulls out only to roll his hips forward again, wringing a moan from me. I feel him smile against my shoulder, his teeth nipping my skin lightly. "So sensitive." Glaring up at him, I reach down between us to give his balls a gentle scrape with my nails. Let's just say there isn't any talking after that.
He thrusts fast and deep, sending every nerve ending into a frenzy. His teeth constantly nip at my neck and shoulders which only increases my pleasure. I hear him mutter something about masochism more than a few times but whenever I open my mouth to snap back at him his expert fingers pinch my clit in an agonizing warning.
It's when I'm nearing my peak that he does something I don't expect: he spanks me. And not a gentle nudge either; a hard, precise slap that stings the moment after it happens. Instead of being outraged like I expect, the sharp pain finally throws me over the edge.
I bite into Isaac's shoulder and scream as I spasm around him. It has been years since I've felt such sublime pleasure and I welcome the sensation with open arms. And to think it all came from a strange man who tried to rape me.
Said man finds his release as soon as my teeth sink into his shoulder. I smirk when I realize that I'm not the only one who enjoys a bit of pain during sex.
We pant against each other until we catch our breaths and then I drop my legs. He'll probably want to get going now that he got what he wanted, and I'm okay with that. It's what I usually do after my sexual encounters, so I'm not one to judge.
I yawn and hobble away to clean myself up, leaving Isaac to get dressed in peace. It's late, and though I'm thankful for his services, I need to clean the place up for my morning staff.
When I return Isaac is gone as I thought he would be, but I can't help but feel a stab of disappointment. He's different than the others in this town and his presence was refreshing. You just want to fuck him again whispers a small part of me and I smirk to myself. Yeah, that's probably the biggest reason I want to see him again.
So I get about to putting my clothes back on and am just starting to throw the paper plates into a trash bag when a hand catches my wrist. I jerk back automatically and glance up with a startled gasp. Isaac stands in front of me, fully clothed, with a sexy smirk on his lips.
"I was just putting your gun back. I may be a rapist, but I'm not a thief."
I roll my eyes and return my gaze to the garbage. "Good to know. But if you'll excuse me, I need to clean up a bit."
"Do you want any help?"
I sigh and drop the bag to cross my arms over my chest and lock eyes with him. "Look Isaac tonight was just sex. There's no need for the awkward morning after talk when there's no relationship to begin with. I had a great time, but you don't need to stick around like an STD."
He laughs and shakes his head with a rueful smile. "Look doll, I may not know you personally but I understand you. You're lonely, scared, and angry. I get it; I live it. I can help you if you let me."
I frown at him. "What are you, a therapist?"
The smile slips off of his face and the twinkle in his stunning eyes dims. "I was going to be." He murmurs with a faraway glaze to his eyes. I reach a hand out, concerned, and am surprised when he jerks back.
"Isaac?" I ask tentatively and he seems to snap back into himself.
He offers me a small smile and leans forward to press a chaste kiss on my lips. "I'll be back later this week for some more…legal activities." He grins at my faint blush and turns to leave when he suddenly stops and glances back at me. "I never got your name?"
"Most people call me Rose." True, it's all true.
"That's not what I asked."
I gape up at him for the second time tonight, completely shocked. How does he keep doing that? Guessing all of these things that no one else knows? People here call me Rose because that's what the name of the bar is but it isn't, in fact, my name.
"Evangeline," I whisper and Isaac rewards me with a Cheshire grin. It' a triumphant grin, almost like he guessed my name before I gave it.
"Until next time then, Evangeline." And with that he walks out the door.