Lydia felt light-headed, partially due to the stifling air in the warehouse but mostly because of Ash’s insistent hands and lips. It was hard to form a coherent thought; all she knew was she needed some air right away.
It was too loud to try to explain this to Ash. Lydia tugged at his hand and motioned toward a side door that was propped open near the makeshift bar. The lights flashed on his face in a pulsing mix of reds and blues, making his eyes glowing and predatory. He nodded at her and pushed his way through the mass of bodies, Lydia following in his wake.
As they neared the bar, Lydia could see a crowd of young men around it. Empty shot glasses littered the particle-board counter; clearly these guys were in deep. Her eyes went to one particular guy, whose flushed face and wild eyes suggested a deep state of drunkenness. Like a sudden wind, Lydia’s dream came back to her in full force. The young man, driving. The family! How could she have forgotten a dream like that?
She pulled her hand from Ash’s and walked over to the young man. He was curled over on his bar stool, his wobbling head perched on his hand, and he was giggling like a school girl. Lydia shook her head in disgust and leaned close to him. “Give me your keys,” she said loudly, right in his ear.
He look up blearily, saw her glaring at him, and burst into giggles again. Lydia made an indignant huffing noise. How was she supposed to do this?
Ash touched her back. “Come on, Lydia- let’s get some air,” he yelled over the music.
“Hang on,” she said, waving her hand at him. “I need to do this.”
Leaning closer to her quarry, she said with more volume, “Give me your keys NOW!” The young man looked up at her from his bar stool, his eye crossing slightly, and promptly threw up all over her feet.
“Augggg!” Lydia yelped and immediately leaped back. It was too late- both her feet and the hem of her jeans were completely covered. The young man was still leaning over, his hand gripping the bar, as he contemplated finishing the job.
Ash pushed past her and went for the guy’s throat. The bar, already precariously constructed, collapsed as the two men struggled. Bottles, glasses, and ice fell in a shattering mess that was hardly noticed by the swirling crowd on the dance floor. Ash jerked the man to his feet and slammed him up against the wall next to the bar, his other hand pressing against the guy’s sternum.The drunk guy’s eyes bugged out and he gagged, unable to get much breath past the iron grip of Ash’s hand.
Grimacing and trying to ignore the warm feeling on her feet, Lydia rushed over. The look in Ash’s eyes stopped her in her tracks. She expected him to be furious- after all, his date had just been barfed on- but instead of angry, Ash looked positively gleeful, as though he had just been given a much-desired gift. His nose was almost pressed against the young man’s and he was hissing what appeared to be a string of violent obscenities, all while grinning like a demented kid on Christmas. Lydia felt her stomach clench in fear; she had no idea what Ash was going to do next. Her head swam with a vision of Rafe magically appearing to save the day and she closed her eyes, wishing she were anywhere but in this warehouse.