To Live Again

By: L. A. Witt

“I think someone’s rather taken with the deejay,” Rhett said.

“Oh yeah?” Ethan glanced toward Sailo, and grinned. “Can’t imagine why. Wow.”

“He’s…” I hesitated. Oh hell, why not? “He’s the guy I was talking about. With the…”

“The one you gave a hand?” Ethan asked, chuckling.

I laughed as heat rushed into my cheeks. “Yes, that one.”

“Nice,” Rhett said. “Too bad he’s working.”

“Well, I offered to buy him a drink, and he said he’d take me up on it when he’s off the clock.” Checking my watch, I added, “Which is about two hours from now. Hopefully he’ll remember.”

“I’m sure he will,” Ethan said. “And you’ve got two hours to stare at him.”

“So do we.” Rhett’s voice barely carried over the music Sailo was playing.

My arms prickled with goose bumps. Oh, I’d definitely be staring at him for the next two hours…

* * * * *

At midnight, the blond deejay returned, and Sailo disappeared backstage.

Rhett and Ethan had left twenty minutes ago, wishing me luck on their way out. I was grateful they’d stayed this long. That they’d come with me in the first place. I couldn’t imagine walking into this place without at least some backup.

But now I was on my own. I’d moved to the bar to keep from occupying a booth that would better serve a group, and I drummed my fingers on my knee, keeping my hand safely beneath the bar so no one—least of all the man I was waiting for—could see my nerves. As the minutes crawled by and Sailo didn’t emerge from the crowd, those nerves were tougher and tougher to ignore. Twelve oh-five. Twelve ten. Twelve twenty.

When my phone said it was twenty-five minutes after twelve, my heart sank. Maybe he’d hoped I wouldn’t stick around this long. Or when he realized I had, he’d ducked out the back and sped off in that packed van. It wasn’t like I could make mental excuses—he was stuck in traffic, he was finding a place to park, he was looking for the club—because he was right here in the same building.

Maybe the promise to meet for a drink had just been a way to placate me so I’d get out of his hair. Or to see if I’d really be gullible enough to stick around. And anyway, I couldn’t imagine I’d made the greatest first impression, so—

There he was.

I gulped as he emerged from the crowd like a mirage taking solid form. He’d changed clothes, losing the black shirt in favor of a plain blue one, untucked with the top two buttons undone. His black hair was neatly arranged and damp, and he smiled when he saw me.

He made his way across the lounge and joined me at the bar.

“Sorry to keep you waiting,” he shouted over the music. “I wanted to grab a shower after…” He nodded toward the stage, where the current deejay was working up a hell of a sweat.

“I can’t blame you,” I replied. “So, I think I owe you a drink?”

He leaned in a bit. “What?”

“A drink.” I pointed at the bar. “What’ll you have?”

He scanned the colorful bottles against the wall and pursed his lips. “How about a rum and Coke?”

I nodded and flagged down the bartender. After he’d made our drinks, I paid him, and then faced Sailo again. Raising my glass, I said, “Sorry for crashing into you earlier.”

He laughed and clinked his drink against mine. “Oh, I don’t know. I got a free drink out of it.” He winked, which sent an electric charge straight down my spine.

I took a drink too, needing the cold more than the alcohol.

He said something, but the music smothered it.

Tilting my head toward him, I said, “What?”

He leaned closer, and I swore I felt the warmth of his breath on my ear—oh God—as he repeated, “Is this your first time at Wilde’s?”

I nodded, drawing back to meet his gaze. “You?”

“Uh, no.” He chuckled, tilting his glass toward the stage. “I work here.”

I cringed. “Right. Sorry. I…” Well, there was no coming back from that one, so I just laughed and shrugged. “Sorry.”

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