It was no joke.
Liam had been waiting in the lobby for her at nine o’clock, sharp. Liam Edenhoff – “but everyone calls me Eden” – he’d introduced himself again to her before guiding her out to a taxi he’d had waiting.
She felt a little nauseous. She’d chugged down another half bottle of wine, and some crème de menthe, before heading downstairs to meet him. She’d almost talked herself out of going, but she’d made the mistake of telling her roommate Tori about the whole fiasco. Apparently, Katya owed it to women everywhere (and Tori in particular) to explore this opportunity to its fullest. She’d all but been shoved out the apartment, the door slammed and locked in her face.
“Nervous?” Liam Eden-whatever-his-name-was asked her as the cab slowed to a crawl.
“Nope,” Katya’s voice sounded overly loud.
“Liar. Tonight is gonna be an interesting night, angel cake.”
“Stop calling me that.”
“What’s your last name?”
“None of your business.”
“Okay then – when the gang bang starts, I’ll tell them to call you Katya X.”
She couldn’t stop the blush from happening that time. Liam burst out laughing, then soothed the sting by grabbing her hand.
Even when they got out of the cab, he didn’t let go of her. Normally, she would’ve been uncomfortable with a stranger assuming such a familiarity with her, but this time, she was thankful for it. She held onto him tightly as they walked down a crowded street. Then they turned into an alley, and his gang bang joke didn’t seem so funny. He led her to a plain door, above which a simple, small, neon sign spelled out “The Garden”. Outside were several small groups of people, chatting and smoking. Some of them called out greetings to him, all of them using his nickname, but a large and scary looking bouncer addressed him very properly.
“Hey, Mr. Edenhoff, wasn’t expecting you in tonight. Any problems?”
“Nope, just bringing a friend to show her the place, let her see what I do for a living.”
All the blood was quickly rushing from Katya’s limbs, pooling somewhere in her stomach. None of this was a joke. He really did own the place, that much was obvious.
As Liam led her through the door, though, Katya actually felt a surge of confidence. She was still nervous, still more than a little scared, but she was okay with it. Liam seemed like a nice guy, he wasn’t going to take her into some dark room and insert foreign objects into her orifices. She could leave whenever she wanted to, whenever it got too uncomfortable. Everything was fine, and for once, she was doing something exciting. She’d een have something interesting to talk about at work the next day.