Ice cubes clinked in Yui's glass as she lifted it. She eyed it for a while as if a spectator for the drink then drowned the contents in a disheartened gulp.
"So." Terrence the bartender spoke as she adjusted to the sensation in her throat left by the drink. "Is there a story to the change of order?"
Yui gave him a tired and yet poised smile. Her perfectly liquid-proof lipstick gave her thin lips a nice sheen in the cozy light. She propped her head on her arm while folding her other arm under it. She sighed and looked up to the lanky but fairly charming bartender, one of her very few true confidants. She only talked to him about deep things because she believed that he hears plenty of stories daily; hers would just fade into the pile and be forgotten.
"You've put a foot in the grave." She said, her voice was half teasing and half warning. "You're asking a girl about why she's drinking heavy stuff, are you really sure you want her to start ranting?"
"Well, if the said girl is Miss Miura, certainly." Terrence stored the glass he was drying and took another.
"What if." Yui said, putting down her glass and gesturing for another. "I make it go on and on to bore you out of the important bits?"
"Then, I'll take everything as important bits, just to be sure." He replied, smiling. Ah, it was enigmatic. His smile that seemed innocent and sweet might have some hidden meanings. Yui has always thought everything has a hidden meaning. She chuckled as he gave her the ordered drink. "
Do they pay you to be this cute?" She asked him jokingly. Terrence chuckled and gave her a shrug as she started, "I had a brother, you see.
"My twin brother Caleb was everything a gentleman should be. He is quite different from my father, also a gentlemanly badass, but well. I love everything about him. He was strong and smart and hella sexy. I know, that's not how brothers are supposed to be spoken of, but let's say it's kind of a common thing in my family. He protected me and supported me."
"Twin brother, hm? I bet so, he must be a cool guy since you're twins." Terrence said, putting away another glass. "What did he do?"
"Had, and yes." Yume said, watching the ice cubes again. "And it's not him that's the problem. A certain someone reminds me of my brother. It's JJ."
"JJ?" Terrence stopped in mid-wipe.
Yui nodded. "Yamashita. Yes."
"Your brother is like JJ Yamashita?"
"The JJ Yamashita?"
"Of Y.E. yes." Yui smirked at Terrence's amazement. "They have their differences, my brother is less tall and less muscular. He wore anti-glare glasses and said sheesh a lot. JJ's much, much more...macho."
"I'll say." Terrence agreed.
"Then there's Mikey." She sighed heavily, tucking stray strands of her short brown hair behind her ear.
"Mike...Yamashita right?" Terrence said, looking up as a customer walked in.
"Yes." Yui said quietly. Terrence was way ahead of her and had replaced her drink before she asked him. "Excuse me for a moment." He said apologetically and she waved a hand to let him know he should go ahead and serve the customer.
Her thoughts wandered to Mikey now, unrestrained by two shots.
She was excited. She wants JJ, really. But Mike isn't all that bad. In fact, he's sexy and all and hey, he can get aggressive.
She likes that.
His hands, his kisses, his pace, everything was quick. Quick and somehow moved with the dexterity of a man in much passion who knew what to do. She was impressed, no-amazed even. The doubt she had of Mikey's talents were slowly getting diminished. She liked it this way, fast and rough. No dily-dallying! And he knew it so well that it had a pretty good effect on her.
After all, he was a quick learner. He already knew her body and reactions so well. She was no longer pretending to be aroused, she really was. But when she closed her eyes, it's still JJ in mind.
But everything stopped. He was breathing hard over her neck and she was gradually descending from almost-heaven.
"What the hell, Mikey. Again?" She said, very much irritated and unable to sugarcoat it.
"God, I'm sorry." Is what he seemed to have said somewhere in his breathing. She pushed him off her and she sighed in frustration.
"Don't force yourself if you're tired because ugggh!" She scratched her head.
"No, I swear. I'm not tired. Just-just let me-" Mike motioned to hold her and kiss her but she sat up at the other side of his bed.
"Really now, because you're panting like you ran uphill." Yui picked up her bra from the tangle off sheets and clothes behind her and started putting it on. Mike had crawled over to her by then, his hands gently cupped her shoulders and he kissed the nape of her neck. "I'm sorry. Don't go, I'm really fine. Now let's pick up where we stopped."
She slumped. "You mean where you stopped. Every. Single. Time."
He said nothing and let her go.
She stood up, pulling on her underwear. "As much as I want to, I've just lost the mood now and I just. Just." She was holding up a hand and she saw him looking at her expectantly. He looked like a kicked puppy looking at food that wasn't his.
"What." She said, annoyed by his rather adorable disappointed look.
"It's really late. You should stay."
"I'm not a little girl. And I've got a driver."
She shook her head and pulled on the little black dress she was wearing. She didn't notice him approach her as she tried to zip herself up. She saw the scar on his chest gleam a bit in the dim light from the floor length mirror in front of her. She never asked about it, but found it pretty sexy. He pulled the zipper slowly, carefully.
"I had a heart transplant in middle school." He said when he finished, as if he read her mind but he was actually watching her eyes. He sounded defeated but his expression was calm. "Or was it elementary? Well, something or other."
"You...what?" It didn't quite register.
"He what?" Terrence asked. Yui was retelling her night and Mike's explanation of his congenital heart disease in the most concise way she knew instead of trying to bore him into disinterest as originally planned. She didn't expect herself to actually want to share her thoughts but Terrence's attentiveness and the drink perhaps certainly made it seem like such a logical idea. This is something nobody knew and she was telling the bartender! It wasn't the first time, and now that she briefly considered it, nothing she ever told him that was top secret ever came to light.
Probably also because they work for the same boss underground.
"I've been toying with him for years. Two? Three? I don't know." She took a sip, avoiding Terrence's eyes. He nodded, still wiping glasses. She wondered for a second if it was the same glass from earlier. Yui's words were stuck in her throat now and the only way to let them out was if...
...she let the tears out too. And she wouldn't.
"What did he say then?" Terrence spoke softly.
"That he loves me." Her voice was reduced to a whisper. What was it that made it so hard to speak? Frustration? Disappointment? Guilt? Shame? "That he'll get better."
"He means it, I suppose."
"And that makes it hard." She put her drink down and rested her forehead on her hands with her elbows propped up. "I don't-"
"Oh, because of JJ?"
"Well, I don't know. I don't love JJ, really. I think I just want him." Yui said. She straightened up with a sigh and took the rest of her drink in one gulp with her head thrown back. She put down her glass but kept staring at the ceiling for a moment, blinking back tears. "And here I am now."
"You know well that drinking isn't the answer." Terrence said, leaning on the table to speak to her in a low voice. He sounded concerned.
"Maybe if I drink enough, I'll forget the question."
"Besides, you get paid as I drink. As the rest of us here with some nasty tales drink."
Before Terrence could say anything, a small chime of a phone accompanied by the noise of its vibrating took both their attention. Yui looked into her purse and pulled out her phone.
"Hello." She said as Terrence gestured to say he'll serve the others for a bit.
"Turn." said a voice on the phone and from behind.
Then there's Mikey. His boyish features were lit up by a small smile which he often had whenever he is with her.
"What are you doing here?" She asked him, hoping with all hope that her eyes didn't betray her feelings at the moment.
"It's dangerous to be out alone." He grinned, assuming he said something pretty cool.
"You're not a little girl and you have a driver. Who is glaring at me by the way." Mikey said with a shrug as he sat on the stool to her left. "At least let me buy you one drink?"
"I've had enough." She stood up, giving Terrence a wave.
"Uh, let me pay for your tab?"
"No, just. Never mind." She was pretty quick and he of course, followed, holding her hand. Her driver stood up from his seat at one of the booths and made his way over to them. Mike let go immediately.
"Dinner tomorrow? Please?" He managed.
Yui looked at him. Men in love are absolute idiots. "Fine."
It hurt her.