Dangerous to Know & Love(4) by Jane Harvey-Berrick

“Just some guys I met.”

“Guys? Which guys?” Kirsty snapped, her eyes suddenly alert.

“Um…”

Kirsty paused dramatically, inspected her fingernails, and generally made Lisanne nervous enough to start a tic behind her eye. “Fine. I’ll go. I’ll text Shawna to see if she has plans.”

Lisanne bit back a retort that Shawna was a bitch and wasn’t welcome. But she also knew that would be a quick way to lose Kirsty’s friendship, if she tried to make her choose between them.

For the rest of the evening, she fielded Kirsty’s inquiries about who the ‘guys’ were that they were going to meet.

Lisanne answered as vaguely as possible.

“I don’t even know them that well. They’re locals, but they seem really nice.”

“How did you meet locals? Hmm, you’re a secretive little thing, aren’t you? Now play nice and tell Aunty Kirsty all about it.”

“No, really. We just, um, got to talking, and like some of the same sort of music. That’s all.”

“Fine, don’t tell me. I’ll just ask them when I see them.”

Lisanne cringed.

“Okay! I’ll tell you! But, please, please, please don’t tell anyone else.” Especially Shawna.

“Come on, tell me already!”

Reluctantly, Lisanne told her the whole story, watching with some pleasure as Kirsty’s jaw dropped open in surprise.

“Omigod! That is so cool! You are totally awesome!” she yelled. “I knew you were hiding something, Lisanne, although I have no idea why you’d want to hide something so amazing.”

“Because I don’t know if it’s going to work out.”

“But they must like you if you’re going to sing with them.”

“Um, maybe.”

“And they’ve invited you tomorrow night.”

“Yeah, but…”

“Well, first of all we have to get you fixed up – and that’s going to take some work.”

“Excuse me?”

“We need to make you look stunning, so they’ll know they’ve made the right choice.”

“They care that I can sing – they don’t care how I look.”

Kirsty rolled her eyes.

“They’re guys. Of course they care how you look! How on earth did you graduate high school without knowing that elementary fact, my dear roommate? Well, don’t worry – Kirsty, queen of kitsch, big mama of the makeover is on the case. You’ll just have to put up, shut up, and enjoy the ride.”

“Okay, but no high heels.”

“What part of ‘shut up’ did you not understand?” growled Kirsty.

Lisanne kept quiet. She didn’t want to blurt out that maybe being the queen of kitsch wasn’t really what Kirsty thought it meant, bearing in mind she was majoring in fashion… Yeah, better to put up and shut up.

* * *

After eating an early dinner the next night, Kirsty rolled up her metaphorical sleeves and went to work. Two hours, two excruciating hours later, Lisanne stared at a reflection she barely recognized.

“You scrub up good, girl,” said Kirsty encouragingly.

“Um,” replied Lisanne, staring at her kohl-rimmed eyes, dark ruby lips, and glossy hair.

“Thank me later when every guy in the club is hitting on you,” said Kirsty with a wink.

Lisanne closed her eyes and offered up a silent prayer, hoping that would never happen. She calmed herself with the thought that if it did happen, it was only because Kirsty had dressed her in one of her (many) outrageously short miniskirts, and knee-high leather boots. Most guys wouldn’t look beyond that. Or maybe as far as her fitted shirt. Certainly no higher.

She felt Kirsty’s soft hand on her shoulder.

“You’ll be fine. You look hot as f**k. My little diva,” she said fondly, and kissed her cheek.

A knock at the door interrupted them.

“That’ll be Shawna,” said Kirsty, skipping to the door.

Shawna stalked into the room, then stopped and stared at Lisanne, utterly shocked.

“She looks good – you can say it,” grinned Kirsty.

“Um, yeah,” choked out Shawna. “For a music major.”

Kirsty rolled her eyes. “Just admit I’m brilliant and she’s a doll.”

“Whatever,” said Shawna, shrugging her shoulders, and glaring at Lisanne.

Lisanne folded her arms across her chest and stared back.

Game on.

* * *

When they got to the club, the line was halfway around the block.

“I’m so not waiting here,” snapped Shawna, throwing an irritated look at Lisanne as if she had personally caused the delay.

“Go and tell the guys on the door who you are,” Kirsty said, impatiently.

“Excuse me?” Lisanne gasped.

“Seriously, Shawna’s right,” prompted Kirsty. “We’ll be out here all night.”

“I can’t! I mean, they won’t…”

“Lisanne!” Kirsty insisted, “Just do it. March your pretty little ass over there and demand they let us in.”

“Or we’re going somewhere else,” smirked Shawna.

With a feeling of dread and preparing for humiliation, her heart pounding clear through her ribs, Lisanne tottered up to the entrance.

“Line’s back there,” intoned the doorman.

“Yes, I know,” coughed Lisanne, “but could you tell Roy that Lisanne… um, that LA is here.”

The doorman looked down, his eyes sweeping her from head to toe.

“You a friend of Roy’s? Okay, you can go on in.”

Lisanne nearly fell over in shock, but Kirsty nudged her and winked suggestively.

“Um, and my friends?”

“Sure, honey. Go on.”

Kirsty tugged her elbow, pulling through the door.

“Wow! How cool is that?” she laughed. “He didn’t even ask for ID!”

Lisanne was in complete shock. Shawna just looked pissed.

“This place is rocking!” yelled Kirsty, over the rising decibels.

Lisanne had to admit that the club looked a lot better at night, and filled with people. It didn’t seem so rundown and divey. Perhaps not quite so welcoming for serial killers, although it still had an edgy, dangerous vibe – like many of the clientele. She’d never seen so many tattoos – and that was just on the girls.

Despite her glamorous makeover, Lisanne still felt like the freshman nerd she really was – and completely out of her depth.

“Let’s get some drinks,” shouted Kirsty, oblivious of the fact that less than 24 hours ago, she’d been nursing a major hangover.

As they walked toward the heaving bar, Lisanne spotted Eyebrow Ring guy. He had some redhead draped over him, and he was grinding his h*ps into her in a way that was probably illegal in 51 states. It wasn’t dancing in the strict sense of the word: more like dry humping to music. But it was definitely hot. She was almost surprised the dance floor hadn’t combusted beneath them.

The redhead’s hands were in his back pockets, squeezing a very nice looking ass. Perhaps you didn’t need to be a great conversationalist when you spent the evening with your tongue down someone’s throat.

Lisanne was annoyed by her own bitchy inner monologue. It just seemed so unfair that she was all dressed up, looking hotter than she had any right to look, and he was utterly unaware of her existence.

He’s a jerk. Remember? You want to be just another notch on his bedpost?

Feeling ridiculous, she followed Kirsty to the bar and ordered iced water. Shawna gazed at her scornfully, then proceeded to engage Kirsty’s entire attention to herself. Kirsty tried valiantly to include Lisanne, but what with Shawna’s natural bitchiness, the number of people packed into the overheated room, and the volume of the music, it was a losing battle.

Lisanne stood by herself, feeling pathetic and miserable, when Roy strolled over to her.

“I’m seeing it, but I’m not believing it! Wow, look at you, baby girl! I’m sure glad you didn’t dress like that to your audition.”

Lisanne looked at him, puzzled and more than a little hurt. “Why not?”

“Because I’d never have known whether I was hiring you for your singing… or not.”

When Lisanne understood what he was saying, her skin heated in a blush.

“Um,” she stammered, looking down.

“You turn up like that for gigs, and we’ll be unstoppable,” he said, grinning at her expression.

“I don’t know. My roommate did this,” said Lisanne, holding out her hands helplessly.

“Introduce me,” ordered Roy, sweeping his eyes up and down Kirsty’s undeniably delicious curves. “I want to thank her.”

Lisanne felt hopeless. It had started already. Everything she had for herself eventually got taken away. Singing was the only thing that she was really good at, and now that was being spoiled. For once, she would have liked it to just be about her.

Then she gave herself a swift ass-kicking and admitted to herself that she was behaving like a brat – Kirsty had never been anything but nice to her. Shawna… well, that was a different story.

Lisanne made the introductions, and was surprised when Roy put his hand around her shoulder, pulling her in for a hug.

Shawna’s eyes nearly popped out of her head as the heavily tatted man mountain lifted Lisanne off her feet.

“Any friend of baby girl’s is a friend of mine,” he boomed.

* * *

Daniel finally managed to unwedge Terri’s eager tongue from his mouth. She’d practically assaulted him the moment he’d walked through the door. Not that he had any particular objections to that – it simply meant he hadn’t had to worry about holding a conversation with her after all. He was relieved that she hadn’t asked him about his brother – or for drugs – but was unreasonably disappointed that she didn’t seem interested in getting to know him either. Although he had to admit she’d gotten to know his body pretty well, and his c**k felt like it had been trying to climb through his jeans to get to her for the last hour. If he didn’t get laid tonight, his balls were going to be bluer than the music.

He felt the change in the rhythm of the crowd as the DJ finished his set, and the band got ready to play. He looked up in time to see Roy manhandling a cute girl with light brown hair, and smiled to himself. When Roy finally put her down and she turned around, obviously embarrassed, Daniel nearly choked on his bourbon. It was Library Girl – looking shockingly hot.

Roy had told him that their new singer would be in tonight – looked like Library Girl had gotten the gig after all.

He felt Terri run her hands under his t-shirt, scratching her nails down his back to get his attention.

“You want to go back to my place? My roommate won’t be there.”

Which was what Daniel had been hoping she’d say – well, expecting, really, from the way she’d been mauling him. His wallet was well stocked with condoms and he’d been looking for the chance to try out the new ribbed ones – see if they did what they claimed.

Maybe he’d get her to blow him first.

As the band took to the stage, he glanced over to see Roy cheering and yelling. Next to him, her eyes glowing with excitement, was Library Girl. Daniel felt a pang of jealousy before Terri dragged him outside.

* * *

Lisanne was almost leaping up and down, when she remembered that Kirsty had made her wear heels. Her feet were killing her, but she didn’t care. The band was awesome and it was both thrilling and terrifying to think that in just three weeks, she’d be up there. The thought left her feeling slightly nauseous.

Glancing around, she could see Roy pogoing with such violence that she feared lives would be lost. People edged away from him, as 230 pounds slammed straight up and down, fists raised above his head.

Lisanne giggled. Roy was a sweetie – nothing to be scared of at all. The man was a teddy bear and she felt safe with him.

Glancing around, she kept looking for Eyebrow Ring guy but he seemed to have disappeared. He was probably with his gorgeous girlfriend, kissing her into seventh heaven, or other dimensions – and other things.

Lisanne wasn’t a complete prude – she had a fair idea what might be constituted by ‘other things’, she’d just never experienced any of them herself. She did, however, have a vivid imagination. She sighed: it seemed that imagination was all it would ever be. Kirsty’s predictions of being hit on were way off the mark. No one had come near her.

She didn’t stop to consider that Roy’s proximity and size made him one helluva bodyguard, whether she wanted one or not.

Kirsty, however, had had more luck, and was doing some of her own dirty dancing with one of Roy’s buddies. Lisanne thought she recognized him from earlier in the day, but since he wasn’t one of the band members, she couldn’t be sure. Even Shawna’s disagreeable sneer that made her look like a bulldog chewing on a wasp, had disappeared for now. Miracle of miracles, she seemed to be enjoying herself.

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