In the United States, a persons twenty-first birthday was the last birthday before they had little to no obstacles in life. At twenty-one years old, a person could drive, they could vote, they could fight for their country, they could legally drink...and they also would stop aging. At twenty- one years old, the cells and molecules of a persons body would freeze in time, no longer regenerating and aging to bring on the wrinkles and physical wear of old age upon a person. At twenty-one years old, a person was almost immortal. The sole purpose of this molecular mutation is to find your soul mate to age together and live your lives at the same time.

Some people lived for centuries, never finding their soul mates, but waiting patiently for the fates to toss them in their faces at the correct time. Situations may arise, where the life of a soul mate was killed in an accident, murdered, died of sickness and a person must wait as their next life continues to grow until they find them again. Some people never stopped aging, having already found their soul mates before the age of twenty one and continued on their lives without any pause between. Some handled the situation well, searching the world with unlimited amount of patience. Others handled it with much less grace, sleeping with strangers and dating religiously in desperate search of their soul mate. Admittedly, I am one who has much less grace and tact than others.

Last Saturday, I celebrated my thirty-ninth birthday. At thirty-nine I had been hoping to be married and have children that were heading into high school, maybe even college. At thirty-nine I planned to be living out in the mountains of Colorado with the love of my life, waking up to bomb-ass sex and the glorious view of the mountains from my bedroom window. At thirty-nine I had not been planning to be staring at myself in the mirror, looking at the tight and flawless skin of my face, and my almost- perfect body that I still had from college volleyball and the long, beautiful copper hair that had zero signs of any grey hidden between the curls. At thirty-nine, I did not plan to still be physically twenty-one. At thirty-nine I did not plan to be sleeping around with strangers every other night of the week hoping that one day, I would find a wrinkle beside my eye, feel an ache in my joints that was something other than previous injuries, or find a strand of grey hair on my pillow.

This morning I woke up in the arms of another stranger, his rather skinny arms wrapped loosely around my waist. I had gotten smashed the night before, but from what I could remember the sex was anything but fantastic. Even as I looked over my body meticulously, I had kicked his underwhelming ass out of my one-bedroom apartment and all but slammed the door shut in his face. It was one of the rare times that I was glad that I remained youthful and had quickly pushed the thoughts of the night before aside as I had gotten ready for work. At three o'clock in the afternoon I was now sitting behind the desk in my office that was littered with papers and empty coffee cups. My head was pounding with a headache that wouldn't cease and I had a twitch beneath my eye that was driving me insane. My fingers flew across my keyboard, typing a rather passive-aggressive email back to a co-worker that had gotten on my last nerves and stabbed the send button angrily.

"What's got your panties in a twist?" I glanced up to the door to the tall, blonde haired woman that stood with her arms crossed and a smirk on her lips. Gretchen Kincaid was twenty-seven and worked as a Secondary Education English teacher, working downstairs and across the floor from where my class room sat. We often came to each other for stress relief from the kids, and while I was currently on lunch, I was rather surprised to find her when she should have been in the middle of teaching her fourth hour.

"Just a bad day," I told her, shuffling some papers into what was a bad attempt to make a pile. She giggled and walked in the room, taking a seat on one of the desks in the front row and letting her long legs swing above the floor. At twenty-seven years old, Gretchen was still searching for her soulmate as well and handling it about as well as I was. "Hows your hangover? Is it as bad as mine still is?" Gretchen raised an eyebrow and frowned slightly.

"Honey, you know I don't wake up with hangovers." I rolled my eyes.

"That's because you don't drink enough." I grumbled beneath my breath. I glanced up at her again as I pulled one stack of papers closer to me. "Why are you here?" She shrugged.

"I sent my class to the library to do some research for a paper. I didn't feel like teaching today." I frowned.

"Smart. I wish I could do that." As a Biology and Human Anatomy teacher, it was a lot harder for me to just send my classes to the library to do some research. I actually had to come up with a plan for the day. Gretchen smiled and shrugged.

"So I am assuming that your piss-y attitude means that last nights winner won based on how drunk you were?" I glanced up at my best friend with a scowl. The memories that flashed through my head throughout the day were borderline juvenile. I seriously wondered how old the guy was and if he was a virgin until he met me.

"Why didn't you stop me?" Gretchen shrugged again.

"You seemed to like him in the moment."

"Oh, and how was your winner?" I sent back, grabbing my red pen and starting to mark away at the papers in front of me. Out of the corner of my eye she visibly winced.

"About as fantastic as yours." Awesome, so we both had great nights. "But now its Friday, and we can start all over again." She replied, quite cheerily.

"Bloody brilliant."

"Jesus Christ, take your attitude out on that rotten kid in your fifth hour and cheer up by tonight. You're not going to find any good catches with a pout on." I flipped her off as she walked out the door, slashing red marks across the pages.


Gretchen and I had a routine; we went out Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights to the bars and continued our weekend at the mall after brunch on Sunday. The rest of the week we recuperated from having to deal with each other for four days. At nine o'clock that night I was standing in my apartment, looking at myself in the mirror. I had chosen my favorite little black dress for tonight's occasion, as Gretchen had gotten us access to a higher class bar than we usually went to. It clung to my chest and hips, with a high neckline in the front and a little slit between my breasts, but completely open in the back. Classy enough that I could get away with it. I wore a pair of nude pumps but had shoved a pair of flats into my purse as I always did. Gretchen could handle the pain in her feet all night, I on the other hand, could not. My hair was straightened and fell down my back like a copper waterfall and I had done my makeup lightly. I sighed, walking out into the living room to where Gretchen waited patiently on her phone.

"Alright, lets go." She shot up and smiled at me. Her red dress contrasted mine as she came to stand beside me. Hers was strapless with a sweetheart neckline, sky-high red peep-toe pumps and her blonde hair curled to one side. To say that Gretchen was gorgeous was an understatement. She was practically a goddess and was probably why she always got the good ones instead of me. She was perfect in almost every way and I seriously wondered every day why she didn't go into modelling. The modelling agency fed off those that couldn't find their soulmates, as they could use them for a longer period of time. At five-foot-ten, Gretchen was a perfect candidate, but instead she went into teaching like me. I, on the other hand, was barely reaching five-foot-four and in my heels maybe five-eight. She had a better body than I did, with curves in all the right places, but just enough. I envied her slightly, but at thirty-nine I had long since gotten over any insecurities about my body.

"Come on, we've got quite a ride." Of course, the night club that we were going to was down in Salt Lake City, almost an hour ride from our home town of Ogden. But, apparently, Gretchen's connection got us a couple rooms at the Grand America. Whoever this person was, I seriously owed them. I followed her down to the street where a cab waited for us and slipped in beside her, placing my purse on my lap. At the end of the school year, it was warm enough to leave without a coat, which I was glad for.

Almost an hour ride later and a good chunk of money for the cab, we shuffled out of the back seat and stood in front of a not-so classy establishment that surprisingly held a swankier bar and club inside. While Salt Lake City was not one of the most extravagant cities in the United States, it was a city known for highly successful business associates, CEO's and other members of a higher world than just being a High School teacher. How Gretchen even got us access to this place, I honestly wasn't sure. There was a line down the entire block to be able to get in and I pointedly groaned, but Gretchen only smirked at me and walked directly up to the bouncer, her hand tightly around my upper arm.

"Gretchen Kincaid and Bridget Tanner, friends of Alexander Cummings." The bouncer narrowed his eyes and I stood there, arms crossed and brow raised. Who the hell is Alexander Cummings and why is he so special? The bouncer grabbed a list from behind him and glanced over the names until his upper body physically relaxed and he nodded, motioning us through the door. I blinked, but let Gretchen drag me inside, slightly impressed. The atmosphere of the club hit me like a wall of bricks and I blinked, letting the music and the lights come into focus slightly before I turned back to Gretchen.

"Who is Alexander Cummings?" I yelled, trying to get her to hear me. She bent down slightly but gave me a shit-eating grin.

"The hot blonde I slept with last week!" She yelled back. I blinked, trying to think back to any blonde guy that she may have taken home. Gretchen was pretty strict when it came to her taste in men. It was usually brunettes or nothing with her. However, hearing that she slept with a blonde guy, which was usually my type, kind of sent me spinning for a second. I raised an eyebrow at her.

"Are you planning to see him again?" She shrugged.

"We'll pretend like we've been searching for him all night, but no, I don't plan to." I nodded, turning on my heel and heading to the bar. She followed. There was an attractive male with dark brown hair that was bar tending. He was rather skinny, with lean muscles but he looked like he took care of his body enough. He gave Gretchen a lopsided grin and quickly took our orders: Tequila sunrise for her, Whiskey Smash for me.

"Mmm, he looked delicious." She purred as we walked to a table. I raised an eyebrow. She always surprised me with what she found attractive.

"Whatever you say." I told her, taking a long sip of my drink. She smirked and glanced over my shoulder towards the back of the club and raised an eyebrow of her own.

"I guess we found Mr. Cummings." She drawled, taking a long drink of her own. I glanced to my left, twisting my body in the slightest to make it look like I was looking over the crowd when I spotted an area in the far back corner than was lit with colored lights and roped off from the rest of the club with bouncers on each corner. There were leather couches with a glass table and waitresses in short skirts and low cut tops that were treating a group of men that laughed loudly and boisterously. Three of them were blondes, two were brunettes. I turned back to my friend with a bored look. She rolled her eyes. "Second from the left." I glanced back again. Not bad. He was attractive enough, with a nice smile, but his hair was too long for my taste, skimming his shoulders. I turned back to Gretchen. She guessed my next question. "He owned a Fortune 500 company." I blinked.

"What's it called?" She shrugged and took another drink.

"Hell if I can remember." I shrugged as well and downed the rest of my drink. A waitress that had been waiting on the men in the back walked by and noticed and reached for my glass with a smile, letting me know she would bring another back and run a tab. I raised an eyebrow but nodded.

"Don't let me drink too much if I am on a tab." Gretchen nodded. A teachers salary barely covered nights like these.

Gretchen and I let ourselves get decently drunk before we decided to wander the dance floor, prowling like lions searching for their prey. I smirked when I found a tall, blonde haired man leaning against one of the bars that lined the dance floor and strut up to him, drink still in hand. He was watching me from across the floor and smirked as I headed towards him. He didn't need to me to ask, he was already pushing off the bar and meeting me half way. His hand slid around my hip and gently turned me around so my back was facing up and pressed his hips up against my backside, letting me take the lead and move our hips to the beat of the music that blared from the speakers on either side of the dance floor. Despite Gretchen's looks, she was not one to be a master of the art of seduction. I, on the other hand, had spent a lot more time coming to master it.

I felt his lips on my shoulder and smirked, tipping my head to the side. His free hand roamed my hips and stomach as he planted soft kisses across my neck and shoulder. I took a long sip of my drink and let the beat of the music take over, bringing me deeper into the world of luxury, sex and alcohol. I didn't know where Gretchen had gone to, and probably wouldn't find her until the next morning or possibly afternoon when we somehow made it back up to Ogden. The lights danced across the room, and I smiled. The buzz in my head was drowned out by the feeling of his body on mine, until I felt the song change and then I slowly pulled myself from his gasp, letting his hands find the willing body of another woman before I headed back to the bar for another drink, letting the idea that I was on a tab completely vanish from my mind.


He had seen her as soon as she had walked in the door to the club, even before Alex had pointed out her friend as the model he had banged last week. The colorful lights sparkled as they hit the long copper locks of her hair, making it sparkle in the dim lighting of the room. He had followed her, her hair making it impossible for him not to find her throughout the entire room and watched her as she drank before she prowled the dance floor like she was searching for a victim. Eventually, she had found one, but didn't stay with him too long. Her black dress clung to her body, accentuating the curvature of her hips and waist against the bright lights as she passed them. She had glanced once or twice over to the VIP area, her eyes always landing on Alex with a frown and never glancing to the rest of them that had come out that night for Tanners birthday. As he watched her, moving through the crowd like a pro and taking drink after drink, he wondered exactly how old she was.

He watched as she moved back to the bar, grabbing another drink before taking another lap around the dance floor, turning down offers to dance as men wrapped their fingers around her hips and continued walking, searching for something. He knew exactly what she was searching for, what most people in the room were searching for. She didn't seem picky, but knew what she wanted for the night in the very least. A waitress stopped in front of them and placed new drinks in their hands and he smiled at her graciously, slipping her a healthy tip. The waitress gave him a predatory smile but walked away without a word. Alex glanced around Tanner to him, asking him a question but found his eyes fixated on something on the dance floor and followed his line of sight to the gorgeous girl with metallic colored hair. He smirked.

"That is Gretchen's friend." He stated, the blare of the music was slightly quieter in the VIP section, easier for them to talk about the women they watched from their secluded post. The others turned, looking towards the woman as well. She noticed the feeling of being watched and glanced over her right shoulder, finding the eyes of the five men in the VIP section watching her intimately. She frowned, took a sip of her drink and turned on her heel to disappear in the crowd.

"She's hot." Eric purred from his place on the other side of Alex. "I'd bang her." Tanner chuckled beside him.

"I think Jackson already put out a claim on her." He glanced to his right, a small smirk pulling at his lips and lifted his drink to take a sip of the heavy liquor.

"Possibly." He drawled, raking his eyes over the crowd in search of her again. "Unless you all scared her off." He spotted a flash of bright hair and followed it to the bar, where she met up with the tall, blonde model that Alex was telling him about. A pair of arms were wrapped around her body and he could almost see a frown on the copper haired girls face. The blonde, Gretchen, glanced to the VIP section with a frown and rolled her eyes, gently pushing the arms of the man behind her off him and walked in their direction.

"Ugh-oh." Alex chuckled, taking a sip of his drink and leaning back into the plush leather couch. "Here comes trouble." A few of the others laughed as well, watching as she strutted her way across the room, her red dress moving with the sway of her hips. Her legs seemed to be a mile long and she had a sexy smirk on her face as she came right up to the ropes and placed on hand on her hip, the other holding a tequila sunrise.

"Alexander." She purred, looking him over. "Thanks for letting us in." Alex waved a hand and took a sip of his drink.

"Not a problem, darling. Its taken you long enough to come say hi." Gretchen smirked and shrugged her shoulders.

"A girl likes to play every now and then." She waved it off slightly. Alex gave her a predatory smile and glanced over her shoulder.

"Whose your friend?" He asked, "A few of my friends have taken a slight interest to her." Gretchen raised an eyebrow, her eyes wandering over the four other men that watched the exchange in amusement. Her smirk only widened slightly, glancing over her shoulder to where her friend was now on the dance floor again with a different guy and a brand new drink.

"She's hard to catch," Was all she said. A few of the men, including Jackson, chuckled.

"I'm sure she isn't that difficult." Eric rumbled, watching the girl dance from around the blonde. Gretchen laughed under her breath.

"You can try," She said, taking a step away from the ropes, "but I can guarantee you'd lose." She turned and started heading back to the dance floor when Alex called her back, leaning forward.

"And where do you think you're going?" Gretchen took a sip of her drink, continuing to walk backwards and gave him a wink.

"To play." And with that, she too disappeared into the crowded dance floor, leaving the men amused and intrigued by both women.