To Live Again

By: L. A. Witt

He smiled, which crinkled the corners of his eyes and made my heart flutter. Good God. If I’d had any lingering doubts about my attraction to men—any reason to call myself bi-curious instead of bisexual—they evaporated right then and there.

Or maybe I’d just had a little too much to drink tonight.

He leaned in. “So what do you do?”

“I’m an engineer,” I shouted.



“Oh. Cool.”

I wasn’t sure what I could add that would be interesting and wouldn’t require a longwinded explanation that he’d barely hear anyway. On the bright side, the booze and nerves didn’t make me quite stupid enough to ask what he did for a living.

I sipped my drink, searching for something to say. Something to ask about him that he’d hear. That he could answer without wearing out his voice. This was going to get exhausting fast. Carrying on a conversation in here with my friends had been challenging enough—trying to communicate with someone who barely knew me would be…difficult. We didn’t know each other’s speech patterns well enough to fill in when the music drowned out the actual words.

Sailo shook his head and turned to me. “It’s way too fucking loud down here.”

Scowling, I nodded. “I know.”

In the space of a few seconds, I convinced myself he was about to shrug and bow out, but instead, he asked, “You want to go someplace quieter?”

My heart skipped. Going someplace quieter… Wasn’t that a come-on of some sort? Oh hell. Maybe it was. And maybe I really was getting too old for this shit, because the club was a bit too loud for my tastes. Someplace quieter—come-on or not—definitely sounded appealing.

So, I nodded.

He raised a finger as if to say just a minute, and turned toward the bar, beckoning someone over. One of the bartenders—a good-looking and somewhat scruffy guy with his sleeves rolled to his elbows—came over. They both leaned across the bar, speaking directly into each other’s ears. Sailo gestured toward the back. The guy glanced in that direction.

With a decisive nod from each, they separated.

Before I realized what was happening, Sailo took my hand. It took me a second to make sense of that casual contact, the warmth of his gently callused fingers between mine, and by the time I got my head around that, I realized I was following him through the crowd. That he was leading me between throngs of dancing, drinking men, and my feet were keeping me hot on his heels despite my brain going wait, what?

So I didn’t argue.

I just followed him.

Chapter Four

Sailo led me into the back hallway where we’d crashed into each other in the first place, but when the glowing Exit sign indicated we should go left, he went right. The hallway turned again, as if we were doubling back and going around the club we’d just exited. Halfway down that hall, he stopped at a door marked VIP LOUNGE—PASS REQUIRED.

He went in ahead of me. We took a staircase up to another door where we paused. Keys jingled. The lock clicked. He pushed the door open and gestured for me to go inside.

Behind me, he shut the door, and he wasn’t kidding about this being someplace quieter. The stairway had already diminished some of the noise from the club, and the door cut off most of what was left.

Sunken lights came on above our heads. The room was sleek and posh—red leather booths. A chrome-edged bar. An enormous flat-screen TV. I could just imagine this place full of gorgeous men, clinking martini glasses together and using those plush booths the way they used the ones in the main club.

My spine tingled as the bass from downstairs thumped beneath my feet. What kinds of things happened in here? After all, I knew what kinds of things happened down there. I doubted people had private VIP parties to talk about current events.

A row of tinted windows overlooked the rest of the club. For a moment, we watched in silence, shoulder to shoulder while men below us were bumping, grinding, kissing, groping. Somehow that had all been easier to ignore when we were in the heart of it. Here, at a distance and still watching, I was about as comfortable as if a porno had just started playing on the giant TV.

“Ugh.” Beside me, Sailo wrinkled his nose. “Max always overdoes it on the bass.” Then he rolled his eyes and chuckled. “Don’t know why I worry about it—the guys here would dance to anything. They just need a beat to break the ice so they can dance a bit before they go fuck.”

Top Books