the bar, currently surrounded by a nice size group of people; the dance floor in the middle with booths on both sides, lining the walls; the bar she sat at being closest to the door. It was not a quaint little place; there had been an obvious amount of money spent to make this place feel classy yet homey and comforting at the same time.
Gazing around, she found that everyone seemed to be having a good time with lots of laughter and dancing. There wasn’t any smoking inside; there hadn’t been in nearly fifteen years now. Oakford had been one of the first towns to ban smoking in public areas and she was glad for it. Smoking made her feel like she was suffocating.
“Charlotte, what did you decide to have to drink?” Turning her head, she noticed the bartender giving her a smile alongside Trevin. She felt her face turning red as they had obviously been trying to get her attention for more than a minute.
Smiling, she said “Sorry, I was really focused on examining the inside of this place. I’ll just have a coke, please.”
“I’ll have the same thing, Scott. Put it on my tab,” he instructed. Charlotte noticed that the bartender chuckled as he walked off as if he thought Trevin couldn’t be serious.
She couldn’t resist asking to be let in on the joke. “Why was he laughing?”
Trevin was about to answer her but he must have seen someone he knew, because his face lit up in a smile as his gaze suddenly became focused on something behind her.
Curious to know who was approaching, she turned to see who had made Trevin smile like that with their appearance.
“Trevin! What are you doing here? You don’t usually come in on a Saturday to check up on us!” A male voice said that, coming into view of Charlotte near the end of his statement.
Finding this statement odd, she glanced over at Trevin but he just laughed at the man, slapping him on the back in greeting. Looking back at the man, she studied him as she waited for an introduction.
She wasn’t sure what color his hair was as it appeared he had recently gotten a buzz cut. He was wearing a black t-shirt that showed his muscular frame and jeans; he also sported a tattoo on his right upper arm. He seemed to know Trevin pretty well and their greeting of each other definitely indicated they were close friends. Since she didn’t recognize him, she was pretty sure he either lived in a nearby town or had moved here after she had left.
When Trevin gently touched her arm to get her attention, she pretended that she hadn’t been staring at his friend, but she could see him trying to suppress a smile.
“Charlotte, I would like you to meet my friend, Ramsey Calhoun. Ramsey, this is Charlotte,” pausing because he was unsure what to say next, he just continued on while shrugging. “…my friend.”
Ramsey stuck his hand out enthusiastically, gripping her hand firmly and shaking. “It’s nice to meet you, Charlotte. Always great to see new and pretty faces around here,” he complimented her, taking a swig of his beer before releasing her hand.
“I would say it is nice to meet you too but I don’t really know you well enough yet to make such a statement,” she retorted, which caused Ramsey to chuckle.
Rolling his eyes in what he knew was a childish manner, Trevin winked at her. “Don’t mind him. Ramsey is always a terrible flirt when he drinks.”
“I couldn’t tell,” she remarked dryly. “How long have you guys known each other?”
The men looked at each other, then back at Charlotte, with Ramsey answering, “What is it, Trevin? About eleven years now?”
“Yep. We met at the University our Junior year during a really boring business class.” They laughed in mutual remembrance, but Trevin’s face sobered as he clarified. “We didn’t really become good friends until…well, after…you know.” He grimaced, casting an apologetic glance to her.
Charlotte saw the moment Ramsey realized that she was the Charlotte who had left all those