Alice edged behind a sofa arm, dipped a hand under her skirt, and fiddled with her stocking. Feeling along her thigh, she located the garter clip. Around her, the party raged on, the floor flooded with bodies. Writhing to the music, moshing. She reattached the thin fabric and smoothed down her deep blue skirt.
"I saw that." A deep male voice sounded by her ear.
She jerked. Her heart slammed the wall of her ribs and she clapped a hand over it, trying to still the throbbing pulsations that radiated through her body and shoved the beat of the metal music from her ears.
She twisted to look up at the guy who spoke to her. And kept looking. Damn, he was a stunning bit of male flesh. Broad shoulders. Corded arms. Flanks of muscle outlining his waist, which disappeared into a pair of the tightest fucking white leather pants she'd ever seen. In fact, she'd never seen a pair of white leather pants in person, let alone on a man, but he rocked them. Rocked as in I-would-so-peel-those-off-you-now.
His dark eyes warred with his blond hair, which stood in spikes over a wide brow. And he had one of those jaws. Square cut and framing a mouth made for kissing.
"Saw what?" she yelled over the din.
He waggled a forefinger. A bracket hugged his lips as he smiled. "Your little adjustment." With that, he spun away and threw himself into the crowd, bouncing, leaping with the bodies. She stared at the mob that swallowed him, searching for his blond head above the others. But she couldn't see him anymore.
For a moment she watched the undulating mass of people. The music pitched louder and louder until she felt as if the floor shook beneath her stilettos. These parties were all the same. Deafening bass, too much alcohol, and couples fucking in the corners, closets, and bedrooms. A couple was even spread upon the dining table amidst cheese platters and bowls of chips, their naked limbs entwined in a love dance.
Once upon a time, Alice would have been curled up somewhere with Dylan. But he'd walked out on her and taken her heart with him, leaving only a fragile case behind.
She snatched up an abandoned bottle of Jim Beam Black Label, rubbed her hand over the mouth to eradicate any germs from the last person who'd swigged from it, and tipped it to her lips. The warm bourbon blazed a path down her throat and straight to her pussy. But it also instilled a feeling of despair.
No boyfriend. A menial job where no one appreciated her and her paycheck covered her piss-poor standard of living. Months before, she'd broken off her last friendship when her girlfriend tried to fuck Dylan under Alice's nose. In fact, Dylan had hosed most of her friends, and so had her boyfriend before that. And before that.
Also, she was far from home. Her decision to follow a boy to a new city had been a stupid one, but like every other girl who makes this mistake, she was too proud to go home. She missed her family with a bone-deep ache that no amount of phone calls could ease.
You're a cliché, Alice.
Maybe it's time to go home.
The singer's raucous voice cut through the haze of pain in her heart.
Dammit, she'd loved all those assholes. For years, people had told her she loved too easily and subjected herself to the resultant heartbreak. Well, no more. She hadn't let anyone close to her since Dylan ran off with her best friend.
Strobe lights flickered to the beat and blinded her. Stars splintered behind her eyes.
Flash of blond.
She craned her neck, but only saw a man's hand on his girlfriend's hips as they ground against each other on the dance floor.
Ear gauges. Nipple piercings. Mohawks. Blue hair. The world whirled around her, and her head revolved with it, spinning faster and faster.
She blinked rapidly to dispel the feeling of confusion and noticed a pair of white leather-clad legs before her.
Again, that finger waved in her face. "Follow me." He disappeared into the crowd.
She hung back for a moment, wondering who he was and where he wanted her to go with him. She thought hard about the expression in his dark eyes and tried to crack the code behind them. All men had a code. If she looked deep enough, maybe she'd see what Mr. White Leather Pants was before she fell for him. Would his code say, "jackass," "cheater," or "mind-fucker?"
At the far end of the room near the door, she spotted the tips of his blond hair. The crowd parted at that moment, giving her a clear view of him. Again he beckoned to her with a crooked finger.
A shiver rippled through her. She could follow him, but to where and to what end?
His level gaze rooted her to the floor. A wave of dizziness washed over her. Was that the whiskey or something else?
He flicked his head at her in a come-here manner that sent a spike of need straight to her sex. Even as her feet carried her forward, her mind scolded her. The last thing you need is another bad boy, Alice.