Stories, Telling Tales
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In The Club

I had my First “Real” Clubbing experience last Saturday.

I know. What a first to experience at nearly twenty-five years of age, right? It’s not on my 25 for 2013 list. It’s definitely been on my bucket list for years, though — along with being soused (given my GERD, the latter probably won’t happen).

Initially, I thought about writing about my experience, but where’s the interest in that? I’m sure most people have had multiple crazy bar/club experiences, so who’d like to read about mine?

Then, while I was washing out the stink of smoke from my hair, Cyn popped up in my head. I’d never met her before, and I don’t know her backstory or what her happy ending will be. But this scene came alive so vividly in my mind that I just had to write it down. Heck, it’s not everyday that I get bouts of inspiration like that.

So here it is: the first piece of fiction that I’m actually putting out there for people to read. Take note that all characters, places and events are products of my imagination.

If anyone’s reading and you can stomach going through the whole thing, I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions. If it isn’t complete crap, I might just develop this scene into a complete story…

All that being said, enjoy! (I hope you do, anyway :P)

*      *      *      *      *

Cyn rested her arms on the postage stamp sized area of the square cocktail table that wasn’t eaten up by the mess of empty bottles, used glasses and discarded napkins. Despite the table’s miniature scale, she was grateful for the breathing room it afforded her in the middle of the chaos that was Paradigm. It was past two in the morning and the club was so packed, it reminded her of rush hour in the MRT back home.

Closing her eyes, she tried to imagine herself dematerializing and moving away from the deafening cacophony of beats and voices.

“You okay?”

The question snapped her out of her attempt at her first out of body experience. Turning towards the voice, she found Beck standing beside her. With his left side propped against the table and a bottle of San Miguel Light in his hand, he was the picture of indolence.

He raised one brow, prompting her to reply automatically. “I’m fine. Thanks.”

“You ever drop that polite act of yours?”


“Forget I asked.” He took a swill of his beer, his Adam’s apple moving as he swallowed. His dark eyes traveled across her face. “You look pale as hell.”

“Thanks. That’s good to know.”

He smirked as if she’d given him the reaction he was gunning for. “Don’t tell me you’re drunk. You’ve had, what, all two glasses of that pink fruity shit?”

She’d actually only finished one and a half of her two orders of mai tai. Not that she planned on setting him straight on that score. “Of course not. I’m just not used to this…It’s giving me a bit of a headache.”

“If this wasn’t your scene, why’d you come along?”

“It’s Chris’ birthday celebration.”

“So? It’ll still be his birthday celebration without you here.”

“I wanted to celebrate it with him and everyone else.”

“You’ve done that.” Beck straightened up, revealing the leashed strength of his body. “Come on.”



She started shaking her head without conscious thought. “No, I’m fine here.”

“If you’re thinking that I’m about to molest you or shit, think again. I’m just not going to stand here waiting for you to pass out. The others are too far to catch you, and I’d soon as hell not be bothered to.”

She looked away, scanning the undulating mass of entangled limbs for their friends. The whole crew had made it out for Chris’ twenty-fifth, and all of them, save for Beck and herself, had gleefully jumped into the fray of the Friday night party scene.

Of her nine friends, she was only able to spot one–the birthday boy himself, whose ridiculous sequined jester hat rendered him unmistakable, especially considering his not unremarkable height.

He was clearly having the time of his life, given how much his hat bobbed and swayed. Though she couldn’t see the rest of the guys, she was pretty sure they looked much like Chris did. She’d been with them just minutes earlier and excused herself with the standard female cop-out of needing to freshen up. Thankfully, neither one of her three girl friends had offered to go with her.

Absently, she chewed on the inside of her lip, sneaking a glance at her silent companion. His eyes were trained somewhere behind her.

She tracked his gaze to a strikingly voluptuous redhead clad in a short, lacy ensemble that passed more for lingerie than an actual dress. The vixen was unapologetically undressing him with her eyes and sending blatant “come and get me” signals.

Curious about his reaction, Cyn looked at Beck. He directed a brief but definite shake of his head towards the redhead and zeroed back in on her.

Up went that eyebrow of his again.

“You’re right, I could use some fresh air. But I’ll go alone,” she added hastily.

“You’d rather go outside all by yourself at—“ he glanced at the watch strapped around his wrist, “—almost 2:30 A.M. than have me come with you?”

“I wouldn’t want to keep you from the party. You’re still drinking your beer.”

“Does it look like I’m part of the party? And I can just as easily drink my beer outside. Looks like I’ll finish it even before you work out this dilemma of yours.”

If she were talking to anyone else, she would think they were offended by her reluctance to be in their company. Beck simply drawled his arguments matter-of-factly, looking bored all the while.

Abruptly, he placed his bottle on the table with a thump. “Screw it. Do what you want. I’m going for a smoke.”

He started making his way through the crowd, an easy feat since the people seemed to automatically part for him.

“Wait!” She gripped her clutch bag tightly as she hurried and called after him.

He turned around, not the least bit surprised to see her behind him. Wordlessly grasping her arm, he positioned her in front of him.


She led the way towards the exit, all too aware of the light touch of his hand on the small of her back and the heat of his body behind her. At the door, a massive bouncer clad in the standard all-black stamped their wrists before they walked out onto the sidewalk.

Cyn took in a deep breath of clean, fresh air. A light breeze tickled her skin, reviving her senses.

To the far right, there was still a line of people waiting to be allowed in. Some of them appeared to have kicked off the party elsewhere, if their overly loud voices and raucous laughter were enough to go by.

“Come on.”

She turned to see Beck disappearing around the corner. Seeing that it was decently lit, she followed and found him standing on the empty sidewalk behind the building. He walked toward a row of planter boxes and, after pulling a folded piece of white cloth from his pocket, began wiping a section of the narrow concrete ledge bordering the plants.

“Sit down,” he said unceremoniously. Catching her expression of surprise, he heaved a sigh. “Are you holding out for a ‘please’?”

She burst out in a fit of laughter. “No, of course not. I’m just amazed that you carry around a handkerchief. It’s not exactly all that common these days.”

“Comes in handy.” Unfazed, he quickly refolded his handkerchief and stuffed it back in his jeans.

Cyn sat in the spot that he’d cleaned and made it a point to leave enough space for him. “I’m even more surprised that you thought to wipe this.”

“Didn’t expect me to have any manners, did you?” He gave her a cynical look. “My mama raised me right. Besides, I’ve got two sisters so I know how you women get about your clothes.”

“Well, thanks.” She patted the seat beside her. “Come take a seat. There’s space.”

“I’m good here.” He leaned against the wall of the building and tucked his hands in his pockets. Eyeing her blue four-inch stilettos, he commented, “Those look lethal.”

“You’re telling me.” Since it was just the two of them, she decided to forget about poise and slipped her feet free of the shoes, flexing them in the air. “God, I’d kill for a foot massage.”

“Don’t look at me.”

“No need to worry about that. Hey, I thought you were going to have a smoke?”

“I don’t smoke.”

“What? Then why’d you say…?” Realizing that she’d been had, she fixed a glare at him.

“If I wanted to smoke, I could’ve done it inside.”

He openly smirked as she remained stubbornly quiet.

“Since you seem to need some time alone, I’m going to get myself a beer. Wait for me here.” Without waiting for a response, he pushed away from the wall and rounded the building.

Not knowing how long he planned to keep her waiting, she unclasped her bag and drew out her second-generation iPhone. She had two new text messages, along with one email. She’d been expecting a reply from her mom back at home, so she bypassed the texts and went straight to her mailbox.

Unfortunately, her phone chose that moment to have one of its fits. The screen froze, causing her to let out a sharp expletive. She experimented with pressing the Home button and then the Power button on top, to no success.

“Fucking phone!’


She looked up and saw Beck ambling toward her with a beer in one hand and bottled water in the other.

“You actually said the F-bomb. Did hell just freeze over?”

“No, it’s my stupid phone!”

“Here. Hand it over.” He exchanged the bottled water for her phone and settled in the space beside her.

“Wow, another favor? Keep that up and you’ll have me thinking that you actually like me.”

“Thank God you’re smart enough to know otherwise.”

Despite being pissed about her phone, she laughed. “Yeah, thank God. How much do I owe you?”

“Forget about it. You can spot me a beer next time.”

“Deal. Thanks, Beck.”

He grunted in response, studying her iPhone. “Man, this is ancient. Why haven’t you gotten a new one?”

“’Cause I need food and a place to live in more.” Removing the freshness seal, she unscrewed the cap of the bottle and took a drink. Ahh, that was good. “Anyway, this is the first time this happened. Usually, the phone just powers off.”

He pressed both the Home and Power buttons until the screen finally went black. After a few seconds, he pressed the Home button again and the Apple logo came on. “That should do it.”

She let out a small whoop of joy. “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

Impulsively, she gave him a peck on the cheek, surprising them both. She blushed as he flashed her a startled look. Ducking her head, she said, “Sorry. Thanks again.”

He cleared his throat and passed her her phone. “No problem. Look, I’ve got some contacts. I can check if they have decent second-hands or refurbished models. You need a more reliable phone.”

“That’d be great. I’d thank you again, but it’s redundant at this point.”

“Don’t mention it. Seriously.”

They fell into silence. Cyn absently turned her phone around and around in her hands as Beck drank his beer.

In the distance, she could hear the muffled music from the club, a spattering of laughter, the nasally voice of a girl as she chewed out her boyfriend for dancing with someone else, and the much lower voice of said boyfriend. She chuckled over that last one, drawing a questioning glance from Beck.

“Can’t you hear them?”

“The couple?”

“Yeah. I was just thinking that they sound like characters in Gossip Girl. You know, they flirt, they fight, and the next thing you know, they’re back in bed together.”

She felt his shrug against the side of her arm. “Can’t say. I don’t watch Gossip Girl.”

“Neither do I, but I see parts of it when I’m channel-surfing.”

“You don’t watch it?”

“I don’t like all the drama. Same goes with Glee. I just fast-forward it to all the singing parts. I usually just watch Elementary and Bones. The chemistry between Sherlock and Watson and Booth and Bones is so unique, and they are such smart and witty characters. Plus, there’s none of those mushy, cliché scenes.” She paused to take in a breath. “Oh, and the Voice. I love the bromance between Adam and Blake. It’s nice to see two hot men who are confident enough in their sexuality act all sweet towards each other. Don’t you think so?”

She turned and tilted her face up to meet his bland eyes.

“Whatever you say.”

“Am I starting to annoy you?”

“Not until you started asking all these questions.”

“So, you’re more of a listener. I can deal with that.”

Suddenly, her phone buzzed in her hand, the screen coming alive to reveal the arrival of a new text message. She unlocked the phone and opened her inbox. “It’s from Chris. He’s looking for us. Guess we should go inside.”

“You okay?”

“Yeah.” She tucked her phone into her clutch and slipped her feet into her stilettos.

She winced. It was as if the short bout of freedom made her feet more sensitive to the killer shoes.

“Sure you can still walk?”

“I’ll manage.”

Beck stood up and held out his hand to help her up. Once she’d gotten her bearings, she scooped up her half-empty bottle of water and led the way back into the club.

It had only gotten noisier and more cramped. Inhibitions had gone out the window, with couples mimicking the motions of sex and some making out right on the dance floor. Cyn felt Beck’s hand settle on her waist. There was nothing intrusive about the touch. In fact, she was caught off guard by how right it felt.

Sooner than she’d expected, she sighted their friends crowded around their cocktail table, downing a round of shots. But before they reached them, they were stopped by the same redhead who’d been eyeing Beck earlier.

“Hey, handsome,” she purred as she rubbed her generous chest against his arm.

“I’m with my girlfriend,” came his clipped response.

As if to emphasize his statement, he wrapped his arm around Cyn’s waist and drew closer to her. Dropping his lips to her ear, he said, “Let’s go.”

Too stunned to do anything else, she woodenly walked the remaining steps to their table.

Chris was the first to notice their approach. The grin on his face faded as he noticed the intimate hold Beck had on Cyn.

“What happened? Where did you two come from?”

Beck released Cyn and moved to stand between Paula and Clare on the opposite side of Chris.

“We just went outside for a bit of air. This woman was coming on to Beck so he pretended that I was his girlfriend.”

Chris frowned, apparently not satisfied with her explanation. “Why were you together?”

“He noticed I was feeling a bit dizzy from the crowd and offered to accompany me. It’s not that safe to go out alone this late.”

That seemed to placate him a bit. “Of course. You should’ve told me. I would have come with you.”

“You were having such a good time that I didn’t want to disturb you. Besides, it wasn’t a big deal.”

“Fine. Do you want to dance?”

What she wanted were a mug of warm milk and the comfort of her bed. But since Chris still looked annoyed and it was his birthday, she chose to humor him.

He reached for her hand and started pulling her toward the center of the dance floor. Cyn looked back and caught Beck watching them with inscrutable eyes. Their gazes locked and held for a couple of beats.

Someone jostled into her side, breaking their charged connection. Chris tugged on her hand and Cyn allowed herself to be swallowed by the crowd yet again.


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