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Elias(West Bend Saints #1)(3) by Sabrina Paige

3
 
“Shit, man, you’re not going to pu**y out on us, are you?”  Adam turned to me and asked.  He was the last in the group, headed down to the casino and the strip club and the club to drink and pick up chicks.
 
I rolled my eyes.  “Get the f**k out,” I said.  My thoughts were foggy.  I knew I was drunk.  “I’m going to take a shit.  Is that f**king okay with you, mom?  I'll meet you down there.”
 
“Fuck, I didn’t need to know that, you stupid ass**le,” he said, and I heard the door slam.
 
I didn’t head to the bathroom.  Instead, I sat down on the bed, leaned my head against the headboard.  My leg ached, and I just wanted to take off the f**king prosthetic and stretch out, go to sleep.
 
I can rally, I told myself.  Another drink will perk me up.  The guys are right.  I should f**king party now, get some lap dances.  Get laid.  There's not anything f**king waiting for me in West Bend.  None of that shit anyhow.
 
I thought I was out of that place, and now here I was, going back.
 
I should get good and f**king drunk.
 
After everything that had happened, why the f**k not?
 
I pulled myself up to a sitting position.  My body felt like it was made of lead, weighed down, tethered to the bed.  I was suddenly reminded of why I didn't drink, the feeling of being medicated a painful reminder of then.
 
Being back in the hospital.
 
It was like I was immediately transported back there, the smell of disinfectant and the stale hospital smell suddenly invading my nostrils.  I could feel the sheets, rough and worn under my fingertips, the sensation of morphine coursing through my veins, making me tipsy and nauseous all at the same time.
 
And the realization that my leg was gone.
 
It felt like someone punched me in the gut.
 
And then I blinked, took a breath, and it passed.  I'm here, I reminded myself, in a f**king suite in a hotel room in Vegas.
 
Fucking lucky was what I was.  Fortunate.  Not like some of the guys I deployed with, the ones who weren't so lucky.
 
I had no reason to feel sorry for myself, and I wouldn’t.
 
I stood up, wobbly on my feet for a moment, and caught myself by putting my hand on the mattress.
 
So, f**k it.  I was going to go down and hang out with the guys, my makeshift family, and thank the man or woman up in the sky that I got home in mostly one piece.  I was going to go get ripped and party like a normal twenty-three year old, like someone who didn't have all the worries and dark thoughts that I just couldn’t seem to shake.
 
I was going to be f**king happy.
 
I poured liquor into a plastic cup, followed by soda.
 
Where's the ice?  I peered into the ice bucket at a pool of liquid.  No matter.  I would get some on the way down to the casino.
 
I walked down the hallway, squinting, looking for an ice machine.
 
Where the f**k is the ice in this place? 
 
A girl was walking down the hallway ahead of me, her back toward me, wearing fuzzy pajama pants with cartoon characters on them, holding an ice bucket.  "Hey!" I called out to her, and she turned slightly toward me, then spun around just as quickly, walking faster in the opposite direction.
 
Fuck.  Seriously?  What, she took one look at me and decided I was some kind of threat?  Or maybe she just doesn't like f**king gimps like me.
 
"Hey!" I yelled, this time louder.  I was being obnoxious.  I didn’t care.  "It's f**king rude to walk away when someone's talking to you."
 
She stopped, and I found myself suddenly a couple of feet behind her.  She spun around, and I was face to face with the hottest f**king girl I've ever seen in my life.
 
She was also pissed off.
 
And all I could think about was grabbing her and pushing her up against a wall so I could f**k the hell out of her.
 
She looked up at me with her lips slightly parted, her breath short, and fire in her eyes.  "You know what's f**king rude?" she asked, her voice louder than it needed to be for how close I was standing to her.  "It's f**king rude to chase down a girl in the hallway of a hotel.  Maybe she doesn't want to be chased down by some creep."
 
I was too distracted by her sweet lips to even register what she was saying.  Her tongue flicked over her bottom lip, and in an instant I was hard.  Goddamn it.  I never wanted to just press my lips down hard against anyone else's lips as bad as I did right then.
 
I f**king wanted this girl so bad I could taste it.  It was instant, some kind of primal thing, like I was a damn caveman.
 
I had to shake off the image that flashed in my head, the one of me throwing her over my shoulder and taking her to my room.
 
"Well?" she asked.  Her hand was on her hip, the other hand holding the ice bucket.  "Are you going to say anything, or are you just going to keep staring at me?  Maybe you want a f**king picture?  Or my autograph?  What the hell is it?"
 
She seemed familiar, but I couldn’t place it.  Her cheeks were flushed, though, and she was unsteady on her feet.  She was just as drunk as I was, I realized.
 
I cleared my throat.  "The ice," I said.  "Where's the ice machine?"
 
Her mouth dropped open, like she wasn’t expecting me to ask a simple question like that.  I wondered what the hell she thought I was yelling about.  Then she laughed.  "That's what you want?"
 
"Why the hell would I want your f**king autograph?" I asked.  "I just wanted to know where you filled up the ice bucket."
 
She laughed, louder this time, the sound melodic.  It felt warm, somehow, even though I couldn’t figure out if she was angry or full of herself or just a bitch.  She shook her head, then ran her hand through her hair, strands sticking up messily every which way, and looked down at her hand, covered in little pieces of hair.
 
She caught the look I give her, and shrugged.  "I just cut it," she said, wiping her hand on her pajama pants.
 
"Yourself?" I asked.  I didn’t even care.  I just want an excuse to keep talking to her, no matter what her hair looked like.  Even if it looked a little bit like someone took hedge clippers to it.
 
She shrugged again.  "I needed a change."
 
"It suits you," I said.  How did I f**king know what suited her?
 
She grinned.  Her smile was radiant.  It was a complete cliché, but it could light up a room.  She could light up a room.  She had that kind of presence.  Even in a hotel hallway, drunk and wearing pajama pants.
 
"It does," she said, her hand going up to her hair again, the movement self-conscious.  "I think it does suit me."  She sounded surprised.  She held out the ice bucket.  "For your drink?"
 
I took a few ice cubes and dropped them into my cup.  "Appreciate it," I said.  Then there were voices in the corridor, and a group of college students, drunk and obnoxious, came closer.  A fleeting look of panic crossed the girl's face, and she grabbed my arm, pulled me toward her, her back against the wall, her face close to mine.
 
She was still holding the ice bucket in one hand.  I had my drink in my hand, my other palm on the wall, inches away from her head.  I heard the college students from somewhere behind us, hollering as they passed.
 
"Yeah," one whooped.  "Get it, man!"
 
My lips were nearly touching hers, a millimeter away.  I couldn’t think of anything except how she would taste.  I wanted her.  I had never been so immediately sure of anything.  I pressed my lips against hers, lightly for a second, and she responded, her mouth opening, and I heard her moan, just barely.  The sound was so soft I was not sure it was her, but she arched her body toward me, and I felt her tongue against mine.  I moved my hand away from the wall, grasping the back of her head at the base of her neck, and pulling her into me as I kissed her.
 
Kiss was the f**king understatement of the year.
 
I didn’t just kiss her.  I f**ked her mouth with my tongue, my thrusts insistent.  I wanted to rip her clothes off right here in the hallway and press her up against the wall.
 
She made this little moan again, this sound that I thought would drive me insane.
 
And then she pulled away, put one hand on my chest, and pushed me back.  "I -" she started.  "I need to go."
 
She put her hand to her mouth.  Her lips were red, swollen where I'd kissed her.  I wanted to kiss her again, leave bruising kisses on her lips, her neck.  On her br**sts.
 
Before I could even respond, she had stepped away and was starting to walk down the hall.         "Hey," I called.  "I don't even know your name."
 
She turned again, and flashed me a grin.  "No," she said.  "You don't."
 
Then she walked away.