I ordered a gin and tonic to blend in better. The guy next to me at the bar decided to strike up a conversation.
"My name's Rick, can I get that for you?"
I glanced in his direction, then looked back at the bartender who'd just delivered my drink.
"Oh, that's really sweet of you, but I've got this one. Thanks."
Rick placed a twenty on the bar. "Really, I insist. Beautiful women should never have to pay for their own drinks."
The bartender started to reach for the twenty. I set my hand on his and shook my head. I handed him a ten, grabbed my drink, and turned to leave. Rick followed.
Placing his hand on my shoulder, he asked, "How about a dance? You look amazing in that dress. Be a shame not to show it off on the dance floor."
I was wearing my little black dress with sequence around the hem line. Every woman has that "go-to"dress, and this was mine. I turned to face him. His bright white teeth blinded me. Good-looking guy, stupid as fuck. "I appreciate that. Really, I do, but I'm waiting for someone." Not a complete lie. I turned to leave. His hand was on my shoulder, again. I reached up, squeezed his fingers together, careful to apply pressure between his thumb and pointer finger, and waited.
"Okay, okay. Sorry."
I let go and continued walking. The VIP section was a few yards away.
A red-velvet rope separated the VIPs from the average folk. Another bouncer guarded the section. In the center, seated on a couch, was the person I needed to see. Haithem was able to get me on the list, but not into the VIP section. That, I had to do on my own.
I left my drink on a table as I approached the rope.
"Oh, sorry, let me find it." I searched through my small, black bag. It held two throwing stars, my phone, lipstick, ID, cash, and my counterfeit VIP pass. These places were all the same. I showed the bouncer, he unclipped the rope, and let me pass.
I stopped at a rectangular stone table in front of the couch.
"You got a minute?" I asked.
"Dezeray Jackson? Well, well. It's about time you came to see me. Heard you were back." The woman shifted her position to better see me. She waved at a man seated in a chair next to the couch. He stood. "Please, join me." She told her followers to leave, except the man. "You ready to accept my offer?"
Once upon a time, Katrina recruited me as part of her security team. Problem was, I didn't like the idea of working the wrong side of the law. Shades of gray, I can live with, but out-right lawbreaking didn't work for me.
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