The Alpha's Search (The Craven Trilogy, #1)(3)By: Natalie Shaw
“That would be very helpful. Thank you.”
Not all of the brochures were on display, so I headed straight for the stockroom. I planned to give him one of each, and hope he'd be on his way.
“This should give you a good idea of what's—”
I stopped dead in my tracks. The seat he'd occupied was now empty. I glanced around the shop, but there was no sign of him.
“Hello?” I felt foolish calling out—there was nowhere he could be. He must have left, but why hadn't the door bell chimed?
“Have you been busy?” Sarah asked when she returned from lunch.
“No.” I shook my head. “Only the one customer.”
“Did you make a sale?”
“No. He was a time waster.”
It had been a long, boring day at work. I was glad to be back home.
“Did you and Tom make up?” I asked.
“Don't ever mention his name again.” Alison was wearing her white towelling dressing gown. Her wet hair was dripping all over the carpet.
“That's a no then?”
“That little shit had the nerve to phone to say he was dumping me. Dumping me? I told him he was too late—I'd already dumped him. He's such a shit head.”
“Oh? I'm sorry—I guess? Are you going out tonight?”
“We're going out tonight. You and me.”
“No. No way. I'm shot at. I just want to stay in with a giant bar of chocolate and my book.”
“Unlucky. You and I are going to Destiny, and we're going to pull.”
“No excuses. You owe me.”
“No I don't. Can't you go with someone else? What about Kathy?”
“Kathy's all loved up with that spotty guy from her office. You and me are going to find two handsome, hunky guys, and we're going to fuck their brains out.”
“I can't. I'm too knackered.”
I should have known that arguing with Alison was a waste of time. She wasn't going to take no for an answer. Surprisingly, by the time I'd eaten dinner, and had a leisurely bath, I was more up for it than I'd expected to be. It was ages since I'd had a good night out. I wasn't optimistic about finding a handsome, hunky guy. My luck with the opposite sex over recent months (or was it years now) had been less than spectacular. I had a terrible habit of picking losers.
There was no point in getting to Destiny much before ten o' clock; the place didn't really get going until eleven. Alison insisted we 'prime the stove' by polishing off a half bottle of Vodka before we left the flat. I was already dreading the next morning—it might be my turn to call in sick.
Thursday was the busiest weekday at Destiny. There were always a few hen and stag parties to boost the numbers. Alison had downed more of the Vodka than I had, so by the time we arrived at the club, she was already a shade past 'merry'.
“Let's dance!” Alison didn't wait for my reply. Instead, she dragged me onto the dance floor. The music—if you could call it that—was deafening. Not my kind of thing at all, but I followed Alison's lead, and hoped I didn't look too out of place.
“I need a drink.” I had to shout to make myself heard. “Do you want another?”
We'd been dancing for ages, and I was all but done in. Alison showed no sign of flagging. I took her non-response as a 'no'. I don't think she even noticed me walk away. She was too focused on a tall, blonde guy who'd been standing at the edge of the dance floor.
“Coke, please,” I said when I eventually caught the bartender's eye.
“Anything with it?”
“Plenty of ice.”
“Four pound, seventy five please.”
“For a Coke?”
“Oh yeah. Of course. I forgot about the ice.” I handed over the cash and stomped away from the bar. Nearly five quid for a bloody Coke? Robbing bastards.
The place was packed, and there were no seats to be had, so I leaned against a pillar. I wanted to do was go home. Maybe if Alison got lucky with the tall, blond guy, I could sneak away.
I took an ice cube from my glass and touched it to my forehead. Alison was even closer to her prey now. It was looking promising—he was smiling at her. A few more minutes, and I'd be able to escape this hell hole.
It couldn't be. I looked again at the man standing over the other side of the dance floor. He had the same Jet black hair as the mysterious guy from the shop. It couldn't be—could it? It was difficult to be sure from that distance. I moved a little closer in order to get a better view. It was him! It was definitely the man from the shop—the man who'd appeared out of nowhere and then disappeared without a word. Was he following me? I took another sip of Coke. Of course he wasn't. I was just being stupid. To say nothing of paranoid. Why would he be following me? There were only three decent clubs in town, so it wasn't such a surprise that he might be in Destiny too.