“Hey handsome, why don’t you come over here and fuck me?”
I cock a brow and send a half-smile to the brunette with the huge tits at the end of the bar, who’s officially had one too many. She’s been paying more attention to me than to her group of friends all evening, and while the attention is nice, she’s about to be sorely disappointed.
“Because this is a public place, sweetheart, and the cops tend to frown on that.”
She smirks, looks down to make sure her impressive cleavage is showing through her barely-there top, which it is, and then tosses her hair over one shoulder.
“We could go somewhere a little more private.”
“I’m working.” I wink, softening the refusal. Unfortunately, I’ve found that drunk women don’t recognize a refusal.
And there it is. She examines her white-tipped nails as I finish pouring one last beer before flashing the lights, letting everyone know that it’s closing time. Many bars in the Quarter stay open 24/7, but Callie, my co-owner, and I decided that 4:00 a.m. is sufficient for us. Most of the crowds die down by then, and it seems the majority of people out past then are looking to cause a little trouble.
Trouble isn’t something we invite into The Odyssey.
Customers are shuffling out, taking their drinks with them, thanks to no open container laws, waving and laughing as they go. I turn to dump some glasses in the sink, and there she is. Miss Brunette.
“You’re still here.” It’s not a question.
“I told you I’d wait,” she replies with a grin, showing off her perfect white teeth. She’s a pretty girl, and in the past I would have scooped her up and fucked her brains out in my office until she couldn’t walk for a week.
But lately, I’ve just been tired.
“Honestly, honey, I’m tired this morning. Do you need me to call you a cab?”
She frowns, as if she doesn’t understand.
“But last time I waited and you fucked me on the bar. Can’t we do that again?”
I blink rapidly and take a closer look at her. I’ve fucked her before?
Jesus, I don’t even remember her.
Which doesn’t surprise me in the least.
“Not tonight.” She sticks her lower lip out in a pout as I press speed dial for a cab. I vaguely remember biting that lip. She hikes her skirt up, showing me more of her thighs, and there is a birthmark in the shape of Texas, and BAM! I remember.
She likes to bite. I had marks from her for a week.
Definitely not doing that again.
“The cab will be here in two minutes,” I inform her and turn to find her glaring at me.
Oh, good. An angry, drunk woman.
“Why don’t you want me?” She starts to sniffle. “I know I’ve gained five pounds since I was here last fall—”
That’s right! She travels for work.
“But I’ll suck your dick like nobody else ever has. Well, except me, because I sucked your dick before and you liked it.”
“I did like it,” I say with a nod, and immediately regret my mistake when she smiles and takes a step toward me. I hold my hands up in surrender. Except the part when you bit my balls. “But I have a girlfriend now,” I lie easily.
“So?” She looks genuinely confused.
So she doesn’t have much for morals. Go figure.
I sigh and scrub my fingers through my hair.
“So that means that I won’t fuck you, Marcy.”
“Darcy,” she spits out. “My fucking name is Darcy.”
“See? You should be with a guy who remembers your name.” Her eyes fill with tears again, but the cab pulls up to the curb and honks twice. “There’s your cab.”
I hurry her outside and pour her into the back seat. “Anywhere she wants to go, man. Just send me the bill.”
“I can pay for my own fucking cab ride,” Darcy growls and flips me off as the car pulls away.
I sigh again and lock the door behind me, then shuffle to the bar. The cleaning crew will arrive in about an hour to sanitize the floors, tables, bar and glassware, but for now it’s nice to be alone. The silence is a welcome change from the noisy, boisterous crowd that usually fills the space. And thank God for them, ’cause they pay the bills.
I love this place. I’ve worked at The Odyssey most of my life. First, for Callie’s dad, and then for her after he passed last year. And now that we’re planning to expand the space, Callie asked me to be her partner. The paperwork was finalized last week, and the expansion is moving forward.
It’s exciting and terrifying at the same time. I don’t just work here, I’m part owner and not able to leave at a moment’s notice if the notion struck me.
Not that I ever have, or would, do that. But it was an option.
Now strings are attached, and I’ve never been a strings kind of guy. In fact, at the first mention of commitment, I’m a run-in-the-other-direction kind of guy.
And I make no apologies for it. The women I’m with know the score. I keep my life simple.
This is work, I remind myself. I’ve had a soft spot for The Odyssey for a long time, so attaching myself permanently is a good move.
It’s not a woman.
“You didn’t go home with her,” Callie says as she comes out of her office, surprising me.
“I thought you went home,” I reply instead of answering her question. “Didn’t I see Declan earlier?”
Declan is a popular New Orleans musician and Callie’s husband.
“You did,” she replies with a soft smile. “But I had some work to do here, and sometimes I just like to stay until closing.”