Today’s Daily Prompt is Unstoppable
Serial fiction, previous parts here
“Another Patron please sugar.”
She gave the dark haired stranger a nod of acknowledgement and reached up to snag the bottle of high end tequila. She poured the shot and added it to his tab then moved down the bar to serve another customer.
Time passed quickly while she worked, a combination of the work and the people making the night fly by. It always amazed her how much of their lives strangers were willing to share with her, it was the part of the job she loved the most. Occasionally, there was a customer who made her uneasy, sparking the senses she tried so hard to keep buried, but for the most part, people were friendly, harmless, clueless.
“Another Patron please sugar.”
Then there were customers like him, the dark haired stranger made her nervous in other ways. There was something about him that reminded her of Ty. His calm demeanour, the way he sat slumped on the barstool but still somehow seemed ready for anything. He wasn’t paying her any special attention but she felt watched by him none the less. It had happened before but unless the stranger came back tomorrow night she wouldn’t consider him a threat.
As she wiped down the bar preparing for last call she opened up just a little, searching for any feelings of malice or ill will and got nothing. Just the normal blend of human emotions at the end of a night of drinking. After three months she knew the feel of the place, it was different depending on the night of the week too.
“Last call,” she advised the stranger and he nodded and handed over a credit card. She ran it through and handed it back, freezing when his hand covered hers as she did so.
“I just wanted to thank you for your service tonight sugar,” he smiled at her as his thumb stroked the back of her hand. “I just wish you weren’t so busy,” he added, his voice low and husky.
It took all of her control not to yank her hand away. Wasn’t the first time she’d been grabbed and wouldn’t be the last but his touch felt wrong. Little pinpricks of agony everywhere he touched.
“We’re generally pretty busy,” she gave him a polite smile as she eased her hand away and took up a cloth to wipe down the bar. “So many office buildings around.”
“I bet,” he smiled but his smile lacked the warmth he’d shown her before he grabbed her hand.
Another customer signalled for a last drink and she gratefully moved away. When she looked back the stranger was gone though she still felt uneasy. As the lights came on, a signal that it was time to go home, she finished wiping down the bar then made her way to the staff room to collect her bag and jacket, said her goodnights then headed out.
She shouldn’t walk alone, it wasn’t safe they said but she needed the solitude after a busy night. She was careful, she was smart, but her need to be alone was, undeniable, unstoppable. Tonight she needed the anonymity of the streets as well, she sought out groups of people, walked close enough that she seemed part of the group, found an after hours venue and lost herself in the crowd for a while.
Three hours later she made her way home, that uneasy feeling finally gone. As she approached her building she opened her senses a little, soothing the tether as it stirred in interest. Was there something there or was she just paranoid? It’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you she reminded herself. She waited across the street and three buildings down, waited and watched because you never knew did you?