HeroRising

Free HeroRising by Anna Alexander

Book: HeroRising by Anna Alexander Read Free Book Online
Authors: Anna Alexander
but the space allows for more intimate
conversation.”
    They rounded a corner and entered an area with curved
couches sprawled in random patterns, sectioned off by maroon curtains that hung
from tracks in the ceiling that allowed them to be splintered off in myriad
directions. People clustered in groups from two up to ten in their own little
semiprivate areas as they laughed and flirted while sipping from glasses filled
with colorful liquid.
    Ooo, and it looked like fun times were allowed here as well
as Ari spotted a couple off to the side. A man had a woman draped over the arm
of the couch as he took her from behind. The fact that the group of men seated
next to them watched as if enjoying a dinner show spoke of how commonplace such
an event was.
    “Whoa. I guess people feel really free with their bodies
around here.”
    “Some more than others. It’s like with anything new. The
unknown is frightening, but once you dip your toe into the water and realize
nothing but pleasure awaits you, you become more than willing to dive right
in.”
    She tore her eyes away from the fornicating duo. “And what
happens in the morning when faced with the light of day?”
    “Since we have a lot of repeat customers, I think the
morning after only whets their appetite for more. Follow me. This might be more
your speed as a newcomer.”
    He led her down a grand staircase onto the main floor of the
club that looked more like what she expected of a nightclub in the city. Before
her lay the dance floor, crowded with partygoers who surged and rolled to the
beat of the tracks spun by the DJ. To the right of her was a stage where two
men dressed in red metallic Speedos performed an intricate fire-dance routine.
On the left stretched the main bar lined with so many bottles, Ari couldn’t
fathom the amount of time it would take to do inventory. In the pub where she
worked there had been three shelves behind the bar, and the bottles that had
lined the top shelf of the hole-in-the-wall were considered house brands in The
Cavern.
    “Are you thirsty?” Jax asked.
    “No. Not really. Besides, I didn’t bring any money down with
me.”
    “No worries.” He rapped his knuckles on the bar twice. “Hey,
Noah. This is Ari, Amaryllis’ friend. Whatever she wants, all right?”
    The cute young thing behind the bar nodded and flashed her a
killer white smile. “Sure thing.”
    “For real? Whatever I want?” There had to be a catch.
    “You’re a friend of the boss lady. Whatever you want.”
    “ Whatever I want?”
    Both men nodded.
    This was a theory she had to test. Her gaze went right to
the top row and she smiled when she saw a full bottle of Johnny Walker Blue.
She pointed. “Has that been opened yet?” It wouldn’t do if the bottle had sat
too long and gone stale.
    “Not yet. A single or double?” Noah asked.
    “Why the hell not? Let’s have a double.”
    “Yes ma’am.”
    Noah turned and expediently climbed up the stepladder and
retrieved the blue-labeled bottle. Within seconds he set a tumbler of amber
liquid and a glass of ice water before her.
    She reached for the glass of water and took a sip, then
slowly went for the tumbler of amber liquid, fully expecting one of them to
reveal that this had all been a joke and they weren’t going to allow her to
imbibe a whisky she knew retailed for fifty bucks a shot. When the glass
touched her lips, she paused and breathed in the fumes, tasting the smoky fire
on the back of her tongue. Both men watched her with bated breath and she
noticed Noah’s mouth part along with hers, his tongue peeking out to touch his
lips as the first drop of whisky hit her palate.
    She held the fiery liquid on her tongue for several
heartbeats before swallowing with a loud sigh. “Smooth.”
    Jax laughed and shook his head. “You’re going to be quite
the troublemaker, I can tell. No wonder Bale is trying to keep you on a short
leash.”
    “Bale’s back?” Noah asked, going visibly pale beneath the
dim

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