Erin tried to walk past the bar. It was a mistake to come this way. The voices carried onto the street, spilling out with drunken laughter and high spirits. She was starving, and the feast inside smelled delicious. Body spray and perfume, musk and sweat, alcohol and youth drew her irresistibly towards another night of damnation. She'd managed just under a week this time, and before that she'd only been supping on wasted druggies. They were already gone, keeping her conscience from being so uppity.
Leave. Leave now a little voice in her head nagged. It must be from the angel on her shoulder. The devil on the other one was winning.
She looked up at the bouncer and smiled as she handed over her license. The picture was horrible, all hair and no makeup and that silly, manic smile that everyone has when they've been standing in line for hours when they'd rather be anywhere else. He grunted and handed it back.
Don't do this! You've been so good!
She whipped out the cash, got the stamp and floated in without really noticing.
No! You promised yourself!
The intensity of emotion inside the crowded bar was too big a distraction to listen. The bar was lined with people. She squeezed in to get a drink, something non-alcoholic and sweet. A buzz got in the way of a good feeding. A college kid stared down at her chest, covered in only a tank top, and offered himself up as the first mark.
"Watcha drinkin'?" He smiled nervously. How cute. And how worthless. She needed someone strong and confident.
Erin smiled at him anyway. "Shirley temple. Driving tonight."
"Oh? Where're your friends?" The bartender stepped up and just looked at them. "Three Coors Lights and a shirley temple."
"$7.50." The guy put down a $20.
He turned back. "Jay, by the way."
"Sandy. No friends." Erin took the drink. "Thanks!" She turned and walked further into the crowd. Drivers drank free, and the bartender hadn't charged for the wussy drink. It even had those straws that non-alcoholic beverages come with, signaling either a wimp or a driver. She sipped through them and closed her eyes, reaching out for someone worthwhile. Her senses flitted deftly among the gathered mass of minds, tasting here and sipping there, breathing over and swirling the flavor of each to discern it's worth.
You can still leave. These people don't deserve this.
A crowd in the back, past the pool tables, seemed promising. Three or four prospects were there, and with an odd number of guys and gals someone would be an easy mark. She moved to the outside of the tight cluster around a table and looked for a good way in. Her focus was off, though, because of her hunger and the delicious meals served in front of her. She nearly lost it and grabbed someone. She took a deep breath, steadying herself.
They're all people here! They have lives! Goals! Aspirations! The angel knew it was fighting a losing battle, but it was going to keep trying.
Two extra guys, and they were already checking her out. Both were at the end, ready to stand up. She lowered her head and smiled up coyly.
"Hey Masha, I know you're smart, I know you're hot. But biotech geeks that spend all day in a lab are prude. It's that simple." Some big hunk against the wall smiled at one of the women in the middle.
"Really, Jason?" Russian accent. Very beautiful. Erin looked at the speaker. Masha's face was turned away. She looked back at the two hotties on the end. They'd turned to the conversation. "Asshole! I'm not a prude." She sounded more joking than pissed.
"Yes you are." Another guy chimed in. "You sit over your lab equipment all day. You come out with us and don't talk to anyone and keep your hair tied up and hide in your baggy clothes."
"Fuck you." Masha pulled out her hair tie and shook her head. "Prude." She slipped off her stool and walked straight towards Erin. Erin turned to see black hair outlining dark eyes and beautiful features. "Hi, honey." She didn't have time to notice anything else before Masha had slipped her hand behind Erin's neck and dove in for a kiss.
At first Erin wanted to pull back. She didn't generally swing this way unless she was desperate. Then the full flavor of the energy behind the lips hit her and she softened to the assault. A tongue forced it's way into her mouth and she felt a hand grab her ass. The conviction and purpose lit up her senses and reflexively a tendril shot out to begin drinking it in. She felt the body pressing against hers flinch with the mental touch.
A trickle of delightfully pure passion bubbled down the link. This close, Erin could see into Masha's unsuspecting mind. She saw the struggle in Moscow to make ends meet, the resolve and character to make it into the university, the drive to come to America and live the dream. In the center of it all, glowing so brilliantly it hurt to sense, Masha had will.
Leave it alone! Let her be! She's a wonderful person who's worked so hard!
Erin was an addict that scored after making do with methadone. She trembled in anticipation. The angel couldn't stop this now.
.... There is more of this story ...