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GodGoat

Books and Stuff

I have a stupid goal. I want to read a book a week this year. So far I'm at 35 books for the year, and we're in the 33rd week of the year. So by that math I'm two books ahead. I'd have 17 books left if I'm to make it and I'll probably lose four weeks in November for NaNo. Will I make it? Possibly! I've got one book I'm working on now, and four left in the Air Awakens Series. That makes 5. Only 12 left after that! :D   Is this a pointless update? Yeah, totally. Do I care? Well, I published it, didn't I?

PDX

The Road to Mount Saint Helens

Meetings

So you’re reading this blog. Good on you. Do you want to know more about the writer? If so, then this is the post for you! I figured the best way to get the ball rolling here would be to put up a little blurb to introduce myself. Let’s start with the basics. Who the hell am I? Well, I have a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering, I work in IT and I’d like to get a book published someday. I study French on my own but I’m nowhere near fluent in either speaking or reading (though reading I can normally muddle my way through even difficult text). I’ve worked in a warehouse and in an accounting office while I was getting my degree. I’m originally from Montana but relocated to the Pacific Northwest in 2011. What about my life now? Well I live with the boyfriend and an adorable toy schnoodle named Gwendolyn. We have two roommates as well. I live within an hour of the ocean but I’m still more at home in the mountains and forests that lie an hour in the opposite direction of our house. I work a normal 9 to 5 shift, and in my off-time I enjoy gaming, wandering through farmers markets, watching stupid videos on youtube, reading, and writing.

Meteor Crater

Excita-Gwen

Mages Know Everything

This post should really be called 'fuck off, I was only 16 when I wrote this' or even 'why am I even posting this?' Those are both more indicative of the shitty writing coming your way. Written in 2008-ish. Characters that were featured in my first NaNoWriMo (that should tell you just how fabulous this piece is). ~~~ My head dropped as I saw the expression on his face. Jacob was furious but he had every right to be. He rose from the overstuffed throne as my mind riddled itself with questions. What kind of lover am I? I mean, I ran away. I always thought as a kid, 'What kind of incapable bastard (a.k.a. My ever loving father) could run away like that?" And now I'm just like him. After all of those years I turned out to be the person I hated the most. How screwed up is that? Slowly, almost grudgingly, I made my way to him, like a little kid that didn't want to leave home, to leave their safe haven. Truth be told, I had expected a lot worse. I expected the mage, and ruler of this country, to snap and throw things at me. "Where have you been? I've been worried sick." he stated simply. And so the guilt began. I couldn't respond to him. I just didn't have the heart. "Please..." His eyes begged me. They tore right through me. Finally, after a moment of contemplation I broke. I fell into his arms. Jacob broke me and he damn well knew it. "I didn't know what to do," I lied. I knew what I should have done. I should have told him. My head pounded. That tended to happen when my conscience was screaming at me to do the right thing. Tears filled my eyes but I wasn't about to let them out. Not in front of him. If it had been anyone else I wouldn't have even come back. He had to give me some credit for that. I really didn't even know why I came back here. His arms wrapped around me, pulling me to his chest. Now I remember. With my head against his shoulder I closed my eyes and inhaled the scent I had missed so much. You don't realize how long the days seem when all you try to do is not think about the person you need the most in your life. "What do you mean by that?" He chuckled and kissed the crown of my head, "What didn't you want to tell me?" Jacob had known me long enough to hear why I had run away from so many others. "I was beginning to worry you weren't coming back." At least he's in a better mood, I thought bitterly. I couldn't exactly say that I was. "I didn't think I was." He frowned at me. My voice rose a little higher than I had intended it to, "Jacob, you can't just have illegitimate children on the side. You're the God-forsaken king!" "Then marry me." He didn't miss a beat. He knew. The bastard knew and didn't tell me. Of course I couldn't really think ill of the man that changed my life in so many ways, but still, why didn't I think of that? He's a mage for crying out loud. He knows these things. I was so wrapped up in my own thoughts that I forgot about the whole 'I'm a mage. I know things other people don't" thing. Then again, what can I say? I'm still just a city girl in a world that's not my own. "Be the blushing bride at my side, be the queen of this country, be my wife." Honestly, the last part scared me to death but I wasn't about to admit that. "I don't think you understand the gravity of this whole situation." I grumbled. Really, isn't it kind of early to be thinking about that? Sure Jacob and I have known each other for a little over three years, but we've only really had this kind of relationship for maybe a sixth of that time. Now he grumbled, "What do you think I did while you were gone? Not work, I assure you."  How his hands wound up in my hair still eludes me but nonetheless his lips found mine. I was still too tired in too much of a foul mood to kiss back but I'm pretty sure he knew that, being the wizard he is and all. "I'm in love with you and I'm asking you to marry me." His patience was wearing thin with me I could tell. Or maybe it was just the anticipation of my answer. "So...Will you?" "Jacob, I..." I saw the tension in his eyes as I spoke, finally I grinned and kissed him, my arms finally snaking around his waist, "Okay, your intentions are good, but the approach needs a little bit of work." He grinned now. "Is that a yes?" And for the first time since I had discovered what was taking place within me, I laughed, I truly laughed, "Of course it is." If the guard hadn't interrupted us we could have stayed like that for quite awhile, "Um, sire?" Poor guy didn't want to. Jacob's head snapped up but he didn't let go of me. Probably afraid I would leave again, "Yes?" The guard didn't raise his head. He was too ashamed of interrupting us, "Well, there's a visitor here. He said that he didn't necessarily have to meet with you today." He chuckled, "Just send him in." "Should I go?" I asked timidly. I kind of already knew the answer. I just didn't expect the delivery of the answer. A low growl escaped his chest sending a shiver down my spine, "No." He pressed his forehead to mine, “Sorry,” “You're right to want to keep an eye on me.” I admitted sheepishly. I watched the door creaked open then a dark shadow followed by its owner stepped in the room. His silky sweet voice rang out in the room as Jacob and I broke apart, “Am I interrupting something?” Some thing wasn't right about him but I couldn't put my finger on it. “No, not that we can't finish up later.” He glanced at me uneasily, signifying that he knew how I felt about the stranger in front of us, “What is your business here, traveler?” He grinned, “Please, your majesty, call me Fargo.” Fargo then bowed and continued, “I come bearing news about the small country of Shinra.” This time Jacob's smooth voice sounded unimpressed, “Care to share?” “We are entering a war soon, and have no supplies. We will make a generous offer for say, 200 weapons?” His dark eyes peered through his shoulder length hair at both me and Jacob. Jacob spoke cautiously, “I shall have to speak with the council.”

The Perils of Online Dating

Written for my creative writing class in college. This piece was featured in the Salmon Creek Journal (our school's art book) in 2015. So that's nice. Written in 2014. ~~~ I twirled my hair for what felt like the thousandth time tonight. “So what is it that you do again, Elliot?” I smiled. I was much more excited for the conclusion of our date than his response. We sat in a dimly lit Italian restaurant in one of the worst parts of the city. Of course, I purposely failed to mention the recent homicides in the neighborhood to the tall brunette currently sitting across from me when I'd suggested this location. I met Elliot online, on some corny dating website that had yet to provide me with a long lasting match. He and I had exchanged numbers, and later, numerous flirtations texts, and although I found his personality quite appealing I wasn’t sure that this would be the ‘one’ either. Then again I did have very… particular tastes. He rested his hands on the table in front of us, food long forgotten. It wasn’t that good anyway. “I’m a salesman for a local cleaning company. Boring stuff, I assure you.” He cocked his head and smiled back. “Remind me again what you do Liz.” Not many mundane details had passed between us. I knew he had an aquarium of salt water fish and a severe aversion to seafood but no other info came to mind immediately. I smoothed down the folds of my cobalt blue dress. To be honest, it was much too cold outside to be wearing such thin fabric, but my coat was hung up on the rack by the door to make up for it. “I work for the city morgue. I just kind of landed there and ended up enjoying it.” He eyed me cautiously. It was hard to hear over the din of the string quartet in the opposite corner. “That's hardly something I can imagine someone falling into, let alone enjoying it.” I shrugged and set my hands on the table, my fingers tracing over the gold bangle on my left wrist. After both of my hands had come to rest on the table he set his hand on mine. “Shall we get out of here? Maybe go somewhere a bit quieter?” I nodded and allowed him to pay the bill before we stepped out into the winter air. Half of the street lamps in this part of town didn’t work, but that was perfect for what I had intended to do tonight. We strode down the street, walking close to one another for warmth. I stopped abruptly, as if a rock had made its way into my shoe. Bending at the waist served well to hide my hand as I reached in my coat to pull out the revolver stuffed in the inside pocket. How the poor sap didn’t see this coming, I didn’t know. He had been so sweet. I almost felt bad. Almost. Elliot hovered over me, presumably to see what I was doing but that made it all the better when I finally stood up. With the barrel pressed to his chest I pushed him back into the alley that I had been sure to conveniently stop at. Elliot looked like a deer in the headlights. When his back finally hit the wall I spoke again. “Betcha didn’t think you would die tonight, did you?” A sudden calm washed over him. He almost looked smug. “Had you walked another block I’d be saying the same to you, Scarlet Witch. Nice to meet you. I’ve heard a lot about you. The tabloids call me Pistol Whip.” I blanched. “The Pistol Whip? 27 unsolved murders?” He nodded proudly. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to keep the gun to his chest or pull it back to have a halfway decent conversation. I really had no inclination to become number 28 today so I left the barrel where it was. “11 isn’t a bad record either. Say, do you maybe want to actually get to know each other? Like psychopath to psychopath?” He had a charming smile plastered on his face and the feminine side of me wanted to take him up on that. Though knowing what I would have done in his situation, I was forced to believe that it was just a ploy so that he could turn the tables on me. “Sorry darlin’, but I want to make it twelve.” I gave him the sexiest grin I could manage before moving the gun over his heart. Elliot began to look a bit concerned. "You know that may not kill me right? It least not immediately. It's too high and-" he started to bring his hand up. I tensed. Oh shit. Was I actually scared? A light flashed in my eyes so I turned my head. A cop? Full blown panic erupted in my head. I composed myself, plastered on a grin, and sweetened up my voice. “Hello officer. What can we do for you?” I pulled my body away from Elliot’s and slipped the gun into my coat as quickly and as smoothly as I could. The cop wanted to be tough but he was a rather portly fellow. He didn't seem so sure of himself either. “You two weren’t planning on, uh, copulating in this here alleyway were you? And what’s that in your pocket? I’ll have you know there are murderers running loose around here.” I glanced over at my dinner date and smirked, my confidence quickly returning. “Oh yes, officer, I know. We weren’t going to do anything illegal, I swear. Tell you what, if you bring that flashlight over here I’ll show you what’s in here.” I patted the pocket. Elliot had such a pained look on his face that I had to look again to see if I had shot him in my panicked haze. “No, Liz!” he hissed. The cop looked at him and then back to me before coming any closer. “It’s okay," I cooed. "He’s just not good at sharing things. Are you, honey?” His face softened in defeat. He already knew what I was about to do. When Officer Thompson got close enough that I could read his name tag, I swiped my foot under his, reached my hand in my pocket, pulled out the gun, and pulled the trigger. It was safe to say that I’d made it to 12. “What the fuck are you thinking?” Elliot seethed. He kept his voice low but surely someone had heard the gunshot. “You just killed a cop. That's game over.” He ran a hand through his hair. “We need to get out of here.” “Relax,” I cooed. “We’re going to be fine. Besides, what are you worried about? I’m the one with the gun.” I casually slipped it back in my pocket. He looked at me like I was a child. “Cops normally travel in pairs. It’s just what they do. One will probably be here soon.” Elliot grabbed my hand and dragged me farther into the alley. “How many bullets do you have left?” “Two.” I guess I maybe should have brought extra. I heard him mumble ‘good’ before we emerged onto the other street. “Where are we going?” “We’re leaving the state." I stopped and yanked my hand back. “We? What do you mean ‘we?’ We’ve been on one bullshit date. There is no ‘we.’” He smiled. “Where else are you going to meet a mass murderer besides prison?” I sighed and took his hand. So much for those particular tastes.

The Stuff Dorktaped Does

Why is this blog named ‘dorktaped does stuff?’ Well, I, dorktaped, do a lot of stuff. In fact, I have a problem with that. I have a lot, and I mean literally over a hundred, unfinished projects/goals. Yeah, it’s insane. And I can’t even figure out how I got here. There’s some shitty personality trait that just keeps pushing me to do new things before finishing whatever I’m working on. This blog is one of them. I started this because I thought it would be a nice way to build up my website skillz and what-have-you but here I am almost a month later and I have one post up. It’s the exact same goddamn thing that always happens. I just don’t have the drive to finish anything. It’s almost like I have this fear of finishing things. Even with video games, when I think I’m getting near the end I just shrug it off and go do something else. I have this mindset that ‘oh it won’t take that long to finish’ which 9 times out of 10 is not the case. Let’s look at some of the projects I have available to me: Jewelry stand. Started in 2015 or thereabouts. I even have all of the fabric to line the drawers and stuff. Just a matter of cutting and gluing. Writing. There are probably 7 manuscripts sitting on the bookshelf behind me that if I had the patience to edit and revise I could throw on Amazon Publishing and maybe make a tiny bit of money. Seriously, the first drafts are all done. I even have a trilogy done! What the hell, DT? Get your shit together. This doesn’t even touch on the ideas and short stories I have floating around that could turn into stand-alone novels. Games. So so so so so many video games. I mentioned this above but I have games where I’m even close to the end (Earthbound, I’m looking at you) but I just can’t convince myself to pick them up and finish them. I’ve had good luck with to-play lists in the past so I’ll probably end up making one of those and maybe even posting it. Finishing this website. It doesn’t look how I want it. There aren’t enough blog posts. I want to update it regularly too but so far that hasn’t been happening either. That’s this year’s Camp NaNo goal. At least one blog post every other day. No one ever sees this anyway so they don’t have to be stellar. It’s my damn website anyway so whatever. Art stuff. This is actually what brought this whole thing to the front of my mind. I bought a Wacom tablet because I wanted it. I thought I would use it. And I want to. I really really do. But what the fuck am I going to do with it? I had fun messing around with it the day I got it but will it really be all that useful for me down the road? Why did I have that impulse in the first place? Sewing. Yep, I have a sewing machine and a serger sitting on a table in my bedroom that I haven’t touched in months. I get all of these hairbrained ideas (see Wacom tablet) and then nothing becomes of it. Moral of the story: I have no focus. I also lack dedication and drive to complete any one of the above. So what am I going to do about this? Short answer: write shit down and hope for the best. Long answer: Probably cry. A lot. That seems to be a thing lately. But really, I have a traveler’s notebook that I’m using for work. I have a planner for home (the one I write my blog posts in) and I think between the two of those I should be able to handle what the world has to throw at me. But that’s highly optimistic at best. So in light of my life being semi-stable now for the foreseeable future I think I can plan this a bit better. Let’s break out a calendar. Each week should have a different ‘theme,’ those being things like sewing, writing, art stuff. Gaming can be done on weekends. That seems fair I think. Will this work? Oh probably not. Gwen and I are going to the dog park three nights a week, I have dinner with my family twice a week, and traffic has been getting progressively worse over the last year. What used to take me about 45 minutes is now taking an hour or more. That being said, dedicating an hour three days a week to something, plus writing blog posts each week, plus looking after this cute little dog, it’s not easy. I’m lazy. I’ll be the first to admit it. I’m probably the laziest person I know. I just feel like I have to be achieving and doing all of the time. It’s just who I am. All or nothing.   I need to write goals each week. For example, if this week were sewing, then my goal is to complete one shirt out of my vintage casual pattern book. I don’t know. I’m working on it. I’ll figure this out then post pictures of my planner when I do.

Erin

Setting: The beginning of an apocalypse in a big city. Groups have formed to try to contain the threats but they can only do so much. The demons come from another world and threaten to rip the lives of the citizens of Edenborough apart. Written in 2013-ish. ~~~ I couldn't tell you exactly why I felt safe with this man that I hadn't even known for twenty four hours but it might have had something to do with the fact that he'd saved my life. Ethan drove slowly, probably trying to limit our time with his raunchy brother. I hadn't quite warmed up to Evan as I had Ethan yet. Something about his sexual comments and bad first impressions. Not being able to bear the silence any longer I reached over and turned on the radio. I didn't ask. I figured if he didn't like it he could kick my ass out and make me walk. When he didn't complain I just let it stay on the station it was on, some rock station that I'd never listened to before. He seemed perfectly content and a part of me was thrilled by that. Hmm, who knew that I could live making other people happy. Then a thought struck me. "What made you pick nursing?" THe radio wasn't so loud that we couldn't hear each other. He glanced over at me and then back at the road. A tiny smirk splayed across his lips. "Do you really want to know?" I eyed him cautiously and nodded. "I'm not a good killing machine like my brother. He has no second thoughts but me... well, I do. Even if a demon is chasing me down, threatening me, and trying to kill me I always hesitate at least a little. They were all human at one point or another, some not so long ago. I want a way to save them, not send them to their graves for something that isn't their fault." I nodded slowly, mulling it over in my mind. I didn't have a response for that. Instead I looked it him out of the corner of my eye and nodded. He looked at me with his bright blue eyes, all the humor and happiness returning. "What about you? Why bookkeeping? Why not traveling the world or becoming an author?" I snorted. "Right, me, something meaningful. That's cute." Bitterness aside I continued on. "It fell into my lap really. I had worked at that bookstore for years. I started while I was still in school. One of the office ladies retired so they wanted to train me to fill in temporarily. Here I am six years later." I mused. "Not many people have life stories as boring as mine." "And yet here you are." He stated simply. No elaboration, no explanation, no reason. I turned in my seat and looked at him. "What do you mean by that?" We were nearly to the house and our conversation was winding down but I certainly didn't want it to. "You defended a group of mothers and their children, got attacked by a demon and lived to tell the tale." As we pulled up in front of the house he put it in park and stared at me. "Not many people have stories as interesting as yours." I didn't say anything until we got out of the car. Something about that irked me but I had no idea why.. Maybe I was still in denial about the whole demon thing or something. Before I pushed the door open I stopped on the step and turned to wait for him. "Thank you." I said simply, holding up the bag in my hand. He nodded and grinned at me. I pushed the door open, ready for Evan to have some snide comment about us being gone and alone together. Instead we didn't find him in the living room. Ethan turned to me as soon as he checked the kitchen. "Evan probably went to bed. He didn't have a nap like we did."  I stood awkwardly in the middle of the living room, bag of goodies in hand. "Take my bedroom." When I opened my mouth to protest he raised a hand. "You have to work in the morning. I do not. I insist." Flustered, and not entirely pleased with him I made a face. He looked at me expectantly. "What are you waiting for? It's nearly 11:00. You need to sleep." Some part of me had a sick sense of humor. THat part of me took over for all of five seconds. "We can share the bed. I mean, it's big enough." He shook his head as he leaned in the doorway of the kitchen. Meow, Talk about modeling career. "Go to bed my dear Erin. You need to at least rest." That stupid part of my brain was still in high gear. "Are you gay?" There's one way to make you hate yourself.. Ethan looked a bit shocked at first then that damn smirk made an encore appearance. He sautered closer and closer to me, much like an animal stalking its prey. Close enough to feel the heat of his body, he finally stopped. "I assure you," he took a breath,  "that I am very much not." He cupped a cheek in either hand and pressed his lips to mine, igniting a fire that hadn't been lit in a very long time. His actions were controlled and almost calculated but still enough to sweep me off my feet. I felt the cold air of the room reach my face again all too soon. "Go."

City Privilege

This was written for my creative writing class in college. I don't write poetry often (read:never) but this one kind of turned out okay I think. Written in 2014. ~~~ City Privilege   Heralston, a home to farmers, laborers, and housewives Doesn’t quite know what to do with itself today. The skies shed their tears and grumble in angst, Alongside those who have come from far away To mourn the death of their beloved school teacher. The grocery store is closed for the day. Susan and Paul are both seated in the church, Next to George, the resident mechanic. I sit in the back, narrowly avoiding the gaze of a man Whose sister once pretended to be my friend. Helen, my former babysitter, smiles at me. Most of these faces look familiar, But I’m only here at my mother’s request. I lower my gaze and stare at my hands, Wondering how long I’m staying this time.   This town, where you can’t buy liquor on Sundays, And the coffee shop is closed on the weekends, Offers no real comfort now. I feel out of place, like my privilege in the city Has gifted me a third arm solely for them to covet. They think they hide their sneers, but I still hear, Even in my mother’s tone when I call her on Sundays.   The gospel hymns, as cheerful as they sound, Do little to mend the bitterness in my heart. The teacher, who now lies still at the altar, Has brought this room together, for better or worse. Forty three years of teaching is no small feat, But I wonder what she could have accomplished If she’d been brave enough to leave her family behind.

Vol. 0

Believe it or not, this is set in the same universe as Erin, but about 15 years prior. Ya know, before the apocalypse. There's an entire 20k word story involved here but this is the beginning. I wrote it for Camp NaNoWriMo in 2015 I think? Maybe 2014, I'm not really sure. ~~~ "He's attractive." "There's something very off about him though." Lynn, my ever present, ever cautious best friend sat beside me as we nibbled on 'authentic italian cuisine' at a little cafe on the edge of Edenbourough. Our day filled with shopping and galavanting around the city was coming to a close. "You say that about a lot of people though." I let out a heavy sigh and tossed a strand of long blond hair back behind my shoulder where it belonged." She rolled her grey-blue eyes. "I'm serious Nora. You can't just go up to someone based on looks alone. There's something seriously wrong with that guy." The 'guy' in question was standing at the register ordering his food. The clerk was as smitten as I was. He was tall, well over six feet, had the body of a greek god, dark hair and eyes to compliment his olive skin.  There certainly didn't seem to be anything wrong with him. He gave the clerk a courteous smile as she handed him the reciept and he turned to find a table and wait for his food. Secretly, or not so secretly, I was hoping he'd pick the table next to ours. It wasn't that far from where he was standing anyhow. Lynn shot me a disapproving look as I eyed him. Although I wanted to strike up a conversation with this man, in reality I was much too shy. I dared glances in his direction but that was about it. The clerk brought out his pasta primavera and he stood and walked out he door. Hm, so much for that dream. Lynn finally put her fork down, something that I had done long ago. She had this nasty habit of finishing her plate no matter what was on it but worked out enough that it didn't show. She always said it had something to do with her parents or something but it had never really concerned me. "Where to now? I knew that we'd have to be heading back to our sleepy little town of Villanova soon but wanted to milk this trip for all that it was worth. It wasn't often that the two of us got to escape like this. She hummed as she thought. "How about a movie? Or maybe a club?" My eyes lit up at the prospect of a club. I had never been to one but it was something that Lynn did every time she came to the city. "We're not really dressed for it." It wasn’t more than a couple of blocks. We could leave all of our stuff in her car here and just walk over there. Club scenes weren’t known for being the safest places to leave a car. I looked down at my jeans and old battered blouse. She was right. "We can fix that though." I grinned at her as we got up and left the little restaurant. Before hitting up the club we found a little boutique not far away. They sold dresses and skirts short enough to make me blush but my partner in crime loved it. She never had any problems with the opposite sex. I, on the other hand... She thrust a hanger into my arms when she saw the terrified look on my face. "Here, try this on." I looked at it. Maybe a yard of fabric all said and done, just barely covering the essentials. I crammed myself in the tiny fitting room and pulled it on. I stepped out in a red halter top dress, covered in rhinestones that extended maybe three inches at best past the part in my legs. This was certainly not something that I could sit down in. Lynn and the little asian woman that ran the place squealed in delight. After calming themselves the woman declared that we just had to do something about my mess of hair. She pulled a fake flower off of one of the shelves and positioned it in my hair, pinning some of the front strands back. Lynn produced the candy apple red pumps that I was somehow supposed to walk to the club in. By the time they had me all done up Lynn has transformed into her fabulous self. Her dress was strapless, something that I swore I would never wear myself. That shade of amethyst looked stunning on her. The light grey stilettos didn’t clash like I thought they were going to. A small bird pendant dangled just above the top of her dress. She gave me the same coy smile that she used on pretty much every gullible man she met. “Ready?” I nodded. We paid the woman and set off for the club. Simply observing the people on the streets was enough to make me happy but Lynn had this nasty habit of commenting on them all. “I bet she’s a hooker.” She said as we passed by a woman barely dressed standing on the corner. I rolled my eyes. “I’m sure that someone is saying the same thing about us.” She looked us over. “No, darlin’, we look hot. That woman was obviously a hooker.” I just played along. When she had her mind set on something that was all there was. When we reached the club we were met by the huge black bouncer at the door. He had that menacing look that all real bouncers had but when he took a look at us he took our cover fee and ushered us in the door. This was one of the most revered clubs in all of Edenbourough. People came from miles around to see it and that really showed. The amount of people in here was astonishing to me, and they came from all walks of life. Lynn took my hand and led me to the bar. She had insisted that we didn't need to bring money dressed as we were. Some fool would buy us drinks. Sure enough, as soon as she flagged a bartender the man next to us looked her over and casually laid down the cash. I however was not so lucky. I didn't have the air of confidence my best friend had. I had money tucked away in the cup of my bra just in case. She got her drink, something that I wasn't really interested in anyway, and we moved closer to the dance floor. My brunette partner in crime swayed her hips to the beat of the music while she sipped the orange concoction in her hands. The man that had bought her the drink was sauntering up beside us. He slipped an arm around her waist and drug her off to the dance floor. She shot me an apologetic look as she handed me the glass. i stood there for a few seconds before taking a sip. There was no sense in standing here watching her have all the fun. I found a little table not far off the bar and sat down. These shoes were going to be the death of me. "Can I ask your name?" I looked around, unaware of anyone paying attention to me. When I turned my head to the right I found the man from the cafe standing next to me. "Nora." I did my best to subdue my blush. He was even better looking up close. "And yours?" He gestured to the seat opposite me as if to ask if he could take it. I nodded. "You can call me Zeek." His grin was infectious. Here I was, little ole me, getting chatted up by the hottest man I'd ever seen in real life. "This doesn't look like your kind of atmosphere." I looked out to the dance floor and then back to him. "No, I guess not. It sounded like a good idea at the time." "You were in the cafe weren't you?" I nodded. He hummed. "You look quite a bit different here. Younger almost." I didn't' really have ground to argue that. My clothes had a tendency to date me quite a bit. "I like it." As the music changed to something else, more bass if at all possible, he nodded towards the sea of people on the dance floor. "Care to join them?" The shocked look on my face gave away my apprehension. "It's safe, I promise." Not knowing what else to say I took his hand as he lead my down the few steps to the sea of people grinding on each other. It reminded me of an orgy or something. I was sure that some of these people were actually having sex. I'd heard things about clubs like that. He placed his hands on my hips and I put mine on his shoulders. Due to the obnoxious people around us we were closer than I would have liked. I didn't really know how to dance in a place like this. I was brought up on square dancing and the jitterbug. I took cues from him, bumping and grinding with the music. Then, all of the sudden, he spun me around so that we could mirror all of the other couples. I could feel him press against my back. I wasn't surprised that his erection was rubbing against my ass but that didn't mean I liked it. He snaked a hot hand around my waist and held me there. I was beginning to relish the sensation. Lynn wasn't too far off, getting into things with the man that had bought her a drink. The same thing was happening to her but she was enjoying it. I took a deep breath and did the same. When the song ended and he let up a little I turned. "I want another drink." I had polished off Lynn's while I was chatting with this handsome stranger. He gave me a curious eye. Truly I just wanted the alcohol to loosen me up a bit. I took his hand and drug him away, not quite sure why I was bringing Zeek along though he was my only other somewhat friendly companion in this place besides my currently occupied best friend. He happily obliged and was sure to keep some semblance of physical contact as we walked. I flagged the bartender. "Crown and coke." I didn't know much about alcohols but that was something that would probably keep me a little looser. Zeek grinned down at me. "Make that two." I was about to pull the money out of my bra when he pulled my hand down. With a grin he handed the man cash. After we got our drinks we went back to the little table we had chatted at before. Lynn's glass was still there, holding our place in a way. I scooted it aside and hopped up to the tall seat. "Thanks," I murmured before I took a sip. Damn, this guy makes strong drinks. That was ok though. I needed it. "So what do you do?" I was taken aback a bit. Is there really idle chitchat in a place like this? "Well, I work at a motel." It wasn't that I was necessarily ashamed of it, I just wasn't proud of it either. My parents couldn't afford to send me to a state school so I was doomed to live the life of a small town girl. "Really? Which one?" He seemed genuinely interested in my personal life. Maybe it was just an air to get laid. Not that I would mind. "Well, I don't live in the city. Probably not one you would know of." He nodded. "What about you?" He looked out towards the crowd of people. "I'm a HR person." "HR?" I echo."What kind of HR?" He took another sip of his drink. "Well, all I can tell you is that it's an international thing. We bring people together. It's all really top secret." I nodded. Damn, I want to know now. Lynn and the man that bought her a drink came sauntering up. She looked elated. She tapped me on the shoulder and looked at Zeek. "Can I talk to her for a minute?" He nodded and got up and stood by the other man. "Hey, you alright over here?" I nodded. "Nothin sketchy going on right? Is he being nice to you?" I nodded again. Obviously she had another drink since the last time I talked to her. "How do you feel about me giving you my keys? Would you be ok to drive back to Villanova by yourself?" My eyebrows knitted together. "What about you? How are you going to get back?" I knew sheh wanted to sleep with this guy. That's probably why she normally came with other people with cars. That way she didn't have to worry about them if she went gallivanting off into the night. She looked over at the man. "Sam said he would bring me home." After licking her lips and stealing another glance she got closer to me. "He's the son of the man that owns this place. Isn't he just gorgeous?" I finally got a chance to look him over. Dark, almost black hair covered his head and a decent portion of his face. He wasn't quite the epitome of greek god that Zeek was but this man definitely worked out. "Sam Thorne is his name. I think I'm smitten" I nodded warily. "Be careful. He might still be an asshole." She rolled her eyes. "You be careful too. I still don't have a good feeling of this guy that you're chatting up. Hot or not, I don't want you getting hurt." I nodded slowly. "Well, then, I shall be off. Don't have too much fun here." She shot me a wink as she took Sam by the arm and the pair sauntered towards the door. Zeek sat back down across from me. "She leaving you to your own devices?" I nodded. "You two must be from Villanova. Small town girls."I gave him a questioning look. "You can't trust everyone here. It's not smart of her to leave you alone here." I looked at my half empty drink. "Yeah." I looked around the room for a clock but turned up empty handed. "Do you have the time?" He pulled out something that I hadn't seen anyone my age carry around before, a pocketwatch. "Quarter after 11. Still a little early." I gave him a humorous look. "Says you. I've been up since 6 this morning." He raised an eyebrow at me. "And you're supposed to be driving back tonight?" I looked off into the crowd. "I'll stop and pick something up on my way out to keep me awake." "You've been drinking." I looked at him with a hint of disdain. "Are you my father now?" Being badgered by men I barely knew wasn't exactly high on my list of things I enjoyed. He dropped his eyes back down to the table. "No, I suppose not. But if you want I do have an extra bedroom if you would like a place to stay for the night." I bit my lip. "No sex?" "If that pleases you then yes, no sex." Mulling over my options in my head I came to the conclusion that if Lynn could sleep with random strangers not knowing what diseases they might be carrying I could at least sleep in a bed at a residence I did not know and not sleep with the guy. Only made sense. And he was right. I really was in no condition to drive the 50 miles back home. "Okay." He looked a little shocked. "Where are you parked?" "Over by the cafe." "May I walk you to your car?" I live not too far from here. I can just give you directions from there." "Did you bring a car?" I finished the last of my drink. Beginning to feel a little tingle in the pit of my stomach I realized just how much of a lightweight I could be. He shook his head. "I came with people." I thought that was a bit odd. I hadn't seen him so much as glance around the room as I had to look for Lynn. I nodded. We stood up and wandered out into the now chilly streets. This dress didn't cover much but I did my best to refrain from showing any semblance of chill. Without saying a word he wrapped one arm around my shoulders as we walked. "You're cold." I let out a snort. Maybe men just knew these things. The streets were quiet, almost eerily so but we made it to Lynn's little blue car with no incident. I held the key in my hand as we approached. He directed me without fault to the high rise apartment building he lived in. He was right, it was no more than half a mile from the club. The lobby was decorated like some sort of office, with marble and silver tones reflecting everywhere. It was swanky without a doubt. He grasped my hand and lead me to the elevator. Still, there wasn't a soul around. The idea of being alone with this man was beginning to take it's toll on my psyche. Maybe Lynn was right, maybe he was some kind of psychopath killer who only wanted to get me alone so that there were no witnesses. Not wanting to believe in inherent evil I chastised myself for thinking something like that. We arrived on the 17th floor and scooted down the hallway. Being so much taller that I, he could walk much faster. He stopped in front of the door numbered 1706 and pulled out a key. Being gentlemanly and such he ushered me inside. "Wait here." He disappeared behind the corner of a wall. Down a hall maybe? I stood awkwardly just past the door with my hands clasp in front of me. Maybe he had a roommate, I mused. Before I could finish my train of thought he returned with a t-shirt. "Something to sleep in," he explained. "I don't want you to be cold." I took it and folded it in my arms. "Thank you again for your hospitality. I do appreciate it." He nodded and smiled at me. "I'll be up for a while if you'd like to join me. If not your room will be the first door on the left down the hall." "What will you be doing?" I blurted out without really minding my p's and q's. I was a guest here, I should behave with the utmost respect. Maybe the alcohol was getting to me after all. He cocked his head an almost unnoticeable amount. "Probably read the paper, and have a small bite to eat. What do you have in mind, my lady?" I blushed. "I was just curious. I'll be off then." I couldn't wait to get out of the heels. And the dress was beginning to take its toll on my patience as well. The bedroom was neat and tidy. A white comforter adorned the bed and the walls were painted pale blue. There was a window overlooking the street below behind wispy white cotton curtains.