ThoughtlessBy: S.C. Stephens
I looked back over at Kellan, but he was already talking with Denny about Denny's new job position. Kellan was curious about what an internship in advertising entailed. Having heard the story a million times before, I tuned it out and took a look around the bar.
Pete's was warm and comfortable looking. The floors were oak and worn with years of use. The walls were a pleasant cream and red with nearly every square inch covered with signs of various brands of beers. Dozens of tables, in varying sizes and styles, dotted the wooden floor, crammed packed where they could fit, except for a twenty foot area in front of the stage that took up one of the shorter walls.
The stage was oak as well, the wall behind it painted black, and covered with hanging guitars in different styles and colors. Huge speakers sat on either side of the stage, pointing out towards the crowd. The lights above the stage were currently off and the microphones, guitars, and drums sat on the darkened stage, waiting for their owners.
I looked over to the other side of the large rectangular room while the guys chatted around me. The other short wall was one long bar. The mirror behind the bar was lined with shelves, all filled with every bottle of liquor you could imagine. The bartender was now busy filling drinks for the crowd starting to pour in from the double doors along the front wall. Large windows dotted that wall, letting in the glow of the various neon bar signs.
A pretty, blonde waitress approached, and handed Denny and me our beers. We thanked her and Kellan gave her a friendly nod, which made me curious for a second. The waitress only smiled politely at him however, so I figured they were just friends.
I sipped my beer and watched the waitress walk through some double doors on the other long wall of the bar. I could see steel and movement, and hear the clatter of food being prepared. That must be the kitchen. A large archway, not far from the kitchen doors, led to a decent sized room that appeared to have a couple pool tables in it. Continuing down the rest of the wall, I noticed a hallway close to the stage that receded around a corner, signs above it indicating that restrooms were in that direction.
As I was looking at the hallway, my eyesight came across the two women who had been watching the guys earlier. Denny and I were now partially blocking their view, sitting on the end of the table as we were. The one who openly wanted Kellan did not look happy that I was sitting right next to him. In fact, she looked downright pissed. I quickly turned back around.
I felt someone approaching me from behind then, and for a moment, I worried that the woman was going to try and start something with me. My body involuntarily tensed as I looked over my shoulder. I sighed softly with relief at the sight of an older man approaching our table.
He was dressed nicely, in khaki slacks and a red collared shirt with the name of the bar in the upper corner. He looked to be in his mid-fifties with graying hair and a weathered face. He did not currently look happy at all.
"Guys ready? You're up in five," he sighed heavily.
"You alright, Pete?" Kellan asked him, frowning a little.
I blinked. Pete must be the owner of Pete's. How cute.
"No...Traci quit over the phone, she's not coming back. I had to have Kate pull a double, so we were covered tonight." He glared, rather angrily, at Kellan. That made me curious, until I remembered that the ex-roommate, Joey, had left abruptly because of Kellan. Maybe it was a pattern with him?
Kellan in turn, glared over at Griffin. He looked a little sheepish and took a long swig of his beer before muttering, "Sorry, Pete."
Pete sighed and shook his head. I guess there were just some risks that Pete was accustomed to involving his entertainment. Surprising myself I said, "I was a waitress. I need to get a job, and working nights would be perfect when school starts."
Pete looked over at me curiously and then back to Kellan. Kellan smiled and pointed to us with his bottle in turn. "Pete, these are my new roommates, Denny, Kiera."
Pete nodded and looked me over. "You twenty-one?"
I smiled nervously. "Yeah, since May." I wondered briefly what he would do if I said 'no' while sipping on a beer?
He nodded again. "All right. I could use the help soon though. Can you start Monday, six pm?"
I looked over at Denny, wondering if I should have talked this over with him first. With his internship during the day, nights would be all we had together. He was smiling at me though, and nodded near imperceptibly.
"Yeah, that would be fine. Thank you," I said quietly. And just like that, one full day being in this new city, I had a job.
My New Job
Listening to the band play their full set was amazing. They really were good at what they did and Kellan was unbelievable. I was a little surprised that someone hadn't scooped him up yet. He was the poster child for a bankable rock star - talented, seductive and smoking hot. And they already had quite the fan base; almost immediately upon starting their set, the floor around the stage had crowded with people.
Denny pulled me out to the floor near the edge of the pack, where we had more room to dance and move about. The song they were playing was extremely catchy and easy to dance to, and Denny twirled me around, then brought me tight to him as we danced close together. I laughed and slung my arms around his neck. Then he dipped me and I laughed harder. Most of the D-Bags songs were fast, but Denny and I were comfortable with each other and danced together easily.
Occasionally, I would glance up at the group onstage. Kellan would gently keep time to the music with his body as he smiled flirtatiously through his words. He was captivating to watch and I found myself doing it more and more frequently as the night went on. While watching the way his body swayed while he sang, I happened to notice Griffin look over at Matt suddenly, then scowl deeply. Somehow, without ever looking at him or missing a note on his guitar, Matt managed to flip him off, making Denny and I giggle and Griffin roll his eyes. Evan watched over the group, slowly shaking his head and laughing as well. Kellan didn't seem to witness the exchange, or he was just ignoring it, his eyes focused on the adoring crowd instead.
For some of the songs, Kellan would pick up his guitar and play along with Matt. His guitar wasn't amplified like Matt's, and the different sounds blended together nicely. He started off an intro to a slower song by himself, and I couldn't help but notice how good he was on it, probably as good as Matt. Most of the people around the front of the stage were still cavorting and dancing, even though the song was slower, but some of the couples near Denny and I were starting to slow dance.
Denny pulled me close, slipping his arms around my waist. He grinned at me goofily, in a way that I immensely loved, and pulled me tight against him. I sighed happily and brought my arms around his neck again. Running my fingers through his dark hair, I gave him a soft kiss. As the music swelled and picked up intensity, I hugged him tight and laid my head on his shoulder, breathing in his wonderful, familiar scent. Looking out over his shoulder, I watched Kellan on stage. He was smiling sweetly at me during a break in the vocals and I smiled back. Then he winked at me and I blinked in surprise. He laughed at that, finding my reaction highly amusing.
They played one more fast-paced song after that, most of the couples going back to regular dancing, Denny and I choosing to stay locked together, smiling at each other and softly kissing. When that song finished, Kellan's speaking voice broke through the noise of the crowd.
"Thank you for coming out tonight." He paused, waiting for the crowd's sudden eruption of screams to die down. After a minute, he smiled charmingly and held up a finger. "I want to take a second to introduce you all to my new roommates."
His finger pointed right at Denny and me. I blushed deeply and Denny laughed, moving to my side, his arms still around my waist. I looked over at him, biting my lip and wishing we had left after the slow song. He grinned and kissed my cheek while Kellan told the whole bar our names.
I buried my head in Denny's shoulder, mortified, while Kellan cheerily said, "Now, you'll all be happy to know that Kiera is joining the happy little family here at Pete's, starting Monday night." The crowd screamed again...I had no idea why, and I blushed even deeper and glared up at Kellan, wishing he would be quiet. He laughed at my look. "I want you all to be nice to her..." he looked over to the D-Bag beside him who was grinning indecently at me, "...especially you Griffin."