The second bar we stop in, the one we are supposed to meet Vinny and his friends at, is packed. Squeezing our way up to order our drinks, Ally wastes no time in letting the bartender know it’s her birthday.

“Two Long Island Iced Teas.” She yells over the deafening music playing from speakers that have way too much bass blaring. The thud is so loud I feel the vibration on my hands as they sit on the top of the bar, my heart jumping to join in on the rhythm.

“Make that one and a water,” I yell, and the bartender smiles and nods.

“It’s my birthday! You have to celebrate with me!”

“Someone has to take care of you. One Long Island Iced Tea and you’re going to need to be carried.”

“I’ll sip it.” She smiles.

“Heard that before.”

Half a drink later, Ally giggles through her words as we both eye a couple sitting quietly to themselves on the other side of the bar. They look uncomfortable as the woman stirs her drink and the man checks his watch.

“Last night they went out. It had been nineteen months since she got laid. Nine-teen months.” She drags out the last words for emphasis before continuing. “They met on Match.com. Wait, no, Churchdate.com. You know, the place where the god-fearing go to meet other people that get up way too early on Sundays to spend an hour listening to an old man preach.” Ally takes a breath, long enough to gulp down another inch from her glass before she continues her rant. “Chatted online for a month before he got the nerve to ask her out. They met at a coffee shop last night, seeing each other for the first time in person. Both were highly disappointed.”

Raising an eyebrow at her story, I point to Ally’s glass, “I’m afraid to hear what happens after you slam down the rest of that thing,” I tease.


Not deterred in the slightest by my comment, Ally continues with her story. “So Elgin, that’s the guy’s name,” her grin widens, “suggests they go for a drink. You know, beer goggles and all, everyone looks more appetizing after a few.” Another sip from the innocent looking, yet highly potent, liquid she’s drinking like it’s lemonade. “They both drink four vodka tonics. Elgin’s a big guy, but he’s a lightweight, just like Penny.”

“Penny?” I question, smiling. Ally always picks the best names. Personally, I’ve never known a Penny, but the woman sitting on the other side of the room fits the name perfectly. I wouldn’t be surprised if Penny was actually her real name.

“Yeah, that’s his date’s name. Quit interrupting, you’re making me lose my train of thought.” Sure, it’s my question and not the drink containing five shots of different, highly flammable alcohol she’s consumed that’s making her fuzzy. “Anyway, Penny and Elgin, they go back to her place. Which, by the way, contains an enormous collection of stuffed Hello Kitty’s. I’m talking hundreds of them. That alone should have sent up the warning flags to poor Elgin. But, alas, alcohol and wood in his pants kept him from seeing all the signs.” Ally sighs, as if to say she sympathizes with poor Elgin.

“So what happened in Hello Kitty land?” Sadly, I’m anxious to hear the rest of the story.

“They got into it fast. Two horny, sexually starved CPA’s going at it. Anyway, turns out, she’s a meower.” Ally empties the last of the liquid from her tall glass, slamming it down on the bar with a little too much enthusiasm.

“A meower?” Brows knitted, I’m beginning to think I’m already seeing signs of drunk, nonsensical Ally.

“Yeah, a kitty fetish. She likes to pretend she’s a kitten while doing the dirty deed.”


“Yep. Now the secrets out, they’re both sober and this,” she points to the couple still sitting awkwardly at the table on the other side of the room, “is the day after date they both feel obligated to do after kitty cat clawing, dirty monkey sex.”

“Monkey sex?” Vinny’s voice takes me by surprise, I’m focused on Ally, doing my best to follow along with the story being told by my crazy best friend.

Forgetting her story entirely, Ally lights up like a Christmas tree, throwing her arms around Vinny’s neck, giving him an overzealous greeting. “I’m so glad you came!” Yep, she’s definitely drunk. Happy, buzzed, Ally has arrived.

Amused, Vinny grins and raises his eyebrows to me in question. Shrugging, I smile as I watch Vinny handle himself with tipsy Ally. He introduces her to the three friends that he’s brought with him, one more ripped and tougher looking than the next. The tallest of the trio has a shaved head and ink sticking out from beneath the collar of his shirt. I’d bet money that he grunts and growls instead of speaking. It’s not hard to guess which one will be the subject of Ally’s attention tonight.

“Hey.” Vinny comes to me, hooking his arm around my neck and kissing me possessively on the mouth. I never would have dreamed that something so cavemanish would do it for me. Before Vinny, public displays of affection weren’t for me, especially ones with the intensity that oozes so naturally from him.


“You look beautiful,” he says, his voice low and sultry. He gazes slowly up and down my body approvingly, making no attempt to conceal his appetite. Oddly, it’s one of the things that I find so attractive about him. He’s confident, real, no beating around the bush. Pure, unfiltered honesty.

“Thank you.” Taking a compliment in stride has never been something I was comfortable with, but Vinny makes it easy…because I believe he means it.

“So who’s having dirty monkey sex?” He grins and I feel my face heat with embarrassment.

“It was just a made up story. A game Ally and I like to play.”

Motioning for the bartender, Vinny orders a beer for himself and gestures in the direction of Ally, “And two of whatever she’s drinking.”

“Ummm…I wasn’t drinking.” I hold up my water. “Water. I’m being the responsible one tonight. Someone has to carry Ally home.”

“I’ll carry you both home. Have fun. I’m not taking my eyes off the two of you in here anyway.” Surveying the room, he takes the water from my hand and places it on the bar, replacing it with the drink the bartender delivered.

Grinning, I sip the drink, “Okay, but you don’t know what you’re in for. Ally is crazy when she drinks too much and I’m a lightweight.”

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