Like a Memory(10)By: Abbi Glines
The lights outside the club flashed LIVE BAY repeatedly. This was it, the rumored spot, the place I’d heard all about. I could hear the music pumping through the speakers with my truck doors shut and windows rolled up. Hell, I already liked it.
Parking was easy since the usual summer crowd was yet to arrive in masses. We needed something like this in Rosemary Beach, or we’d needed something like this. Seeing as I wasn’t settling down there I don’t guess it mattered now.
I remembered seeing this place as a kid. Bliss said it was popular. Some friends of her father owned LIVE BAY. The guy had once played here or something. I couldn’t remember the details. They had whisky and that was my only concern.
While heading towards the entrance I tried not to think about Bliss, which meant I was thinking about her. That summer. Keeping my distance had helped, I think. Truth was, after a week of avoiding her, I wanted to just tell her the truth. Be done with the whole damn thing. That seemed like the best idea.
The only problem with that was that I was afraid I’d like what I was getting to know. What was now in front of me daily. That the woman she’d become would be twice as appealing as the girl she’d been back then. I didn’t have room in my drama free life for the chaos that would create. And I wanted to keep it that way.
The band started with a cover of a Jax Stone song and I almost turned and walked out. I didn’t much care for him. Even less for the music he wrote. Then again it was only one song and I needed a fucking drink.
“Hello Nate,” the sweet familiarity of that voice rang in my ear, because I’d hid from the voice all week. I almost cursed when I turned to reply.
She was here. Of course, she was. She knew the owner. She’d told me all about it, but that was years ago. I knew she might be here. Deep down I’d thought about it. I couldn’t pretend like I hadn’t.
“Hey,” I said with a smile, that I knew didn’t reach my eyes. It was more forced than anything else, but I had to make some effort.
“I didn’t know you were still in town,” she said. “I had a question for Octavia and didn’t want to bother her. Could you stop by tomorrow? It’s a shipment that appears to be doubled.”
She was all business. No flirting. No looking at me with those sorrowful eyes wanting me to remember. She was over it. Moved on from the shock.
“Yeah, I can. What time?”
“B! Get your ass over here! Tell this sonofabitch I can drink ten tequilas and still walk a straight line!” The male voice yelled out from a table nearby. I glanced over and saw three guys. One was Eli and a couple of women I’d never seen before. They were all laughing at the man who was demanding Bliss’s confirmation of his ten-shot tequila stroll. She wouldn’t help him out. She shook her head and denied his boasting.
“I’m not doing it. You’ll have to prove it!”
The guy threw his hands into the air. “What the fuck, B! Damn baby, I thought you had my back!”
She rolled her eyes and looked at me. “I better get over there before Micah convinces Jimmy to do what he’s saying he can do. Because I happen to know the last time Jimmy tried it he slept it off in jail. See you tomorrow. Whenever. I’ll be at the shop all day.”
She didn’t wait on me to respond before heading back to the table. The guys who weren’t Eli looked older than her. The one threatening to drink ten shots couldn’t be younger than thirty. Bliss apparently ran with a mature rough crowd, which I didn’t expect from her.
One of the girls at her table had her eyes locked on me. I could feel it, but I didn’t look her way. I’d caught enough of a glimpse to know she was tall, built well, and barely dressed. This told me she liked the attention. I had no time for that.
“Bring your friend with you!” the female called out, her words slurring and finishing with pauses. She was slobbering drunk and brave.
I didn’t hear Bliss’s response, but I watched her say something to the girl. It made her frown and turn back to the group at the table and I was left alone.
The older guy put his arm around Bliss’s shoulders. She laughed loudly, closing her eyes. I hadn’t seen that in years. I then realized I missed that laugh. It hadn’t changed. It was the same.