"I can do this, I can do this, I can fucking do this," I repeat over and over again in my head as I line up the shot glasses on the bar, trying to keep my hands steady.
Some girl just turned twenty-one and her friends are plying her with as much alcohol as she can handle. Normally I'd be keeping an eye on the newbies, making sure they weren't overdoing it but tonight, I couldn't care less. It's not a big deal, though. Mark's on it. He's got Ian keeping an eye on her.
Knowing Ian, an eye is not all he's going to have on her tonight. The man is a proper horndog, but he's a good co-worker so I can't really complain. He tosses me the tequila bottle as he slides a beer down the bar to a burly trucker whose tattooed forearms proclaim his undying love to some girl named Angela. I pour the shots, doing my best not to roll my eyes as the girls squeal in excitement, downing as many of the shots as they can in one go.
"You alright, Maddie?" asks Mark, bumping me with his hip as he slides up next to me to grab the box of paper umbrellas under the bar.
," I think to myself, "my grandmother, the woman who practically raised me died this morning and I just want to crawl under the bar and drink until I can't think anymore
"Yeah, I'm good," I reply, shooting him a fake smile that he frowns at. I feel bad lying to him, but I don't feel like explaining anything right now.
I know he can see right through me, he's been my boss for months and my friend for years. I know he'd give me time off if I told him the truth, but I don't want to go home. I know that as soon as I get through my front door, I'll break down into a blubbering mess and I'm putting it off for as long as I can. I found out five minutes before my shift and the reality hasn't fully hit me yet, a fact I'm almost grateful for. Thankfully, the bar is too busy for Mark to push the matter. He strides off with the box, taking it further down to the co-eds partying at the other end of the bar. Normally I'd be ogling his ass as he walks away, but I just can't seem to focus today.
"Hey, luv, hit me with a Miss Piggy!" says Jeremy, one of our regulars, plopping down on a stool.
"Sure thing, Jer," I say, grabbing the tall glass and scooping in some ice.
I pour in the port and red vodka with no problem, but as soon as my fingers close around the bottle of Southern Comfort, I know I'm in trouble. It's like all the noise of the bar has faded to silence and I'm the only one in the room. Just me and this familiar bottle of amber liquid. This is Grams', was, dammit, I guess I need to start saying was. This was Grams' favourite drink. There's always a bottle hidden in her nightstand. She couldn't get to sleep without the stuff. I touch the edges of the label almost lovingly. I feel like I've been punched in the gut. It's getting harder to breath and I'm unaware that I'm crying until tears drip down onto the bottle.
"Oh ,no, I'm sorry luv. It doesn't have to be a Miss Piggy, I'll take a Red Death instead," says Jeremy in a panicked voice, breaking me out of the reverie.
"No, no, it's alright," I say, hurriedly wiping my eyes as I uncap the bottle and finish making his drink. Shit, pull it together!
"What's going on babe? Everything okay?" asks Jeremy as I push his drink towards him.
"Hey, I'm the bartender, that's my line," I say, trying to lighten the mood, drying my eyes on my sleeve.
"If you ever want to talk. .. " he says, giving me what I'm guessing is his idea of a reassuring smile, but he looks terribly uncomfortable and I feel horrible for making him feel that way.
"I'm sorry Jeremy, don't worry about it, that one's on me," I say gesturing to his drink with my chin. "Look, Lorena's here tonight," I say, pointing behind him as I spot the curvy blonde strolling into the place.
She looks around shyly before slipping into one of the booths. Jeremy has been crushing on Lorena ever since she first moved here and it's adorable how just mentioning her name makes his ears perk up and his eyes brighten.
I pour myself a shot and shoot it back as Jeremy saunters over to talk to Lorena, a wide, boyish smile on his face. I hear someone order a beer and slide it over to them, watching Ian collect the money as I take another shot. I close my eyes and feel the buzz wash over me, almost too quickly. A fleeting thought to the last time I ate tries to climb to the forefront of my brain, but I don't care. All I know is that I feel good right now and I refuse to think of anything else.
The night flies by in a hazy blur. It feels like time is slowing down at specific moments and then whizzing by again. It slows down when Jeremy finally asks Lorena to dance. It slows down when I see Ian and the birthday girl sneaking out the side door while her friends continue to celebrate. It slows down when I pick up that bottle of Southern Comfort to make someone a Black Widow. I don't cry this time, but I come pretty damn close to it. The night blurs on and the next thing I know, Ian is waving goodnight to the last patron as he locks the front door.
"Did the birthday girl get home okay?" asks Mark, catching the keys to the front door as Ian tosses them to him.
"Yep, got her and her friends a cab about half an hour ago," says Ian, wearing his trademark I-got-some-grin. He's so proud of himself, it's almost cute.
"See you guys tomorrow," says Ian as he grabs his bag next to the bar and slips out the side door.
It's my night to clean up, Ian and I alternate nights. Just like he does every night, Mark disappears into the back room to do inventory while I work. After a couple minutes of silence, I feel the events of the day starting to weigh down on me as my buzz slowly ebbs away. I take another shot, knowing I shouldn't, but I'm not ready to deal with anything yet.
I manage to clean up the place without breaking anything and figure it's time to go home. I'm about to go tell Mark that I'm about to leave when I spot it: that damned bottle of Southern Comfort. It's in it's usual place, but I feel like it's waving at me, taunting me, screaming at me that she's gone. I feel like that damn bottle is asking all the hard questions that I'm not ready to face. It barely registers as I sink to my knees, clutching that bottle like it's my last lifeline.
"Maddie!" I hear, barely recognizing Mark's panicked voice. "What's going on?" he asks and I feel a warm hand on my shoulder as he sits on the floor next to me.
"Nothing, I'm fine," I say, as I try to stand up again, but he grabs my arm and stops me from getting up.
"Maddie, I know you, something's been bugging you all night. Tell me what it is," he demands in that gravelly voice of his, making me sit back down.
"I can't," I whisper, sitting back down next to him, unable to look him in the eyes.
"Does it have something to do with this bottle?" he asks, gently prying it from my fingers. "I saw you earlier, every time you had to make a drink with it, you got weird," he says.
I nod, not trusting myself to speak,.Mark's been a good friend for years, but I don't cry in front of people, I just don't.
"Then let's get rid of this one and grab a bottle of. .. .Do you have any problem with uh. . . Mr. Daniels?" he asks, reaching up to grab the bottle of Jack Daniels off the shelf.
I can't help but offer a weak smile as I shake my head 'no'.
"So Lorena and Jeremy, who'd have thought?" he says as he takes a swig from the bottle before passing it to me.
It's times like these when I appreciate just how awesome Mark really is. He's dying to know what's going on, but he's not going to pressure me. I chug down three gulps before passing the bottle back to him.
"He's been crushing on her since she got here, I can't believe you didn't notice," I chuckle, leaning back against the bar, gazing up at the tile patterns on the ceiling, smiling to myself as the colors seem to blur and merge into each other.
"I didn't think that she. .. " he starts, but I need to tell him what's going on before I lose my nerve.
"Grams died this morning," I blurt out, grabbing the bottle back from him and taking a healthy swig.
"Oh Maddie, I'm so sorry," he says in a soft voice laced with concern. "Why didn't you tell me earlier?"
"Because I. .. now it's. .. I don't want. .. " I stammer, stumbling over my words as I try to figure out what I want to say. I take a deep breath,"Saying it makes it real," I say, burying my face in my knees as reality starts sinking in.
"I'm so sorry Maddie," he murmurs and I feel a warm arm slide around me.
It reminds me of how my Grams would hug me when I was feeling down and the tears start to flow. I don't want to cry in front of Mark, no one is ever supposed to see me cry, but try as I might, I can't stop them from flowing. I feel gentle hands rubbing my back as he moves closer, guiding me into his arms.
I want to speak, tell him that I should go home, that I don't want him to see me like this, but I don't want to tear myself away from him, to leave the safe haven that he's created for me in his arms. He pulls my head onto his shoulder and strokes my hair, making small comforting noises.
I fist my hands in his shirt, gut wrenching sobs wracking my body as I cling to him, pouring out my grief at the loss of one of the people who'd been a solid constant in my life. Somehow, I've wound up in his lap, straddling his thighs as he hugs me close. His shirt is soaked and that can't be comfortable, but Mark being who he is, will never say anything about it. I slowly pull back, feeling all cried out.
"I'm sorry, Mark," I say in a hoarse voice, starting to undo the buttons on his shirt. I'm not thinking straight, and the fact that I'm undressing my boss barely registers.
"Whoa, what are you doing?" he asks, grabbing my hand and stopping me. I sniffle as I gaze at him through half-red eyes.
"Your shirt is wet," I reply simply, slipping my hand out of his and deftly undoing the rest of his buttons.
"Don't worry about it," he says, rubbing my forearms before reaching up to brush my tears off my face with his thumbs.
He smiles at me and it's like someone has hit the pause button. I've had a small crush on Mark for ages and sad as I might be right now, it's impossible not to take note of the position we're in. My skirt is riding up and my bare thighs are resting on his jeans, the front of his jeans are all bunched up from the way he's sitting and I can't tell if he has an erection hidden under there, but I'm hoping that he does.
I lean down slowly and press my lips to his, giving him a soft tentative kiss at first, but increasing the intensity, emboldened by the fact that he's kissing me back. He grunts in suprise and I suddenly realise what I'm doing. We may have been friends first, but right now he's my boss and me kissing him is wildly inappropriate.
My eyes go wide and I pull back. Apologies stream from my lips as I make to get off of him. It's my turn to grunt in surprise as he remains silent and grabs my head, pulling me in for a passionate kiss that takes my breath away.
It takes a minute for it to register. Mark is kissing me. I'm kissing Mark. Mark's lips are touching my lips. Oh! Holy hell, that was a hint of tongue. Fuck!
I twine my fingers in his hair, letting myself get lost in the kiss as all the events of the day seem to be pushed into a little box and stowed under the bar until later. I know I'll have to go back to reality soon, but I'm not ready yet. I feel his hands fist in my hair as he yanks my head back, practically attacking my neck and sucking hard, occasionally nipping at it. His free hand all but rips the front of my shirt open with a loud tearing sound. I feel him freeze and it's like time stops for a moment as he stares at my breasts, encased in my favorite bra.
Oh fuck, I totally forgot that I was wearing it. It's a light blue number with a yellow-winking-smiley face on the right cup. It seems totally out of place considering my current situation. He cocks an eyebrow as he looks up at me with an amused grin. I want to say something, but I'm taken aback by the look in his eyes and my breath hitches in my throat. Gone is the quiet calm that I'm used to seeing. It's like there's a wild fire blazing inside him, scorching my skin with a simple look.
I may be a little drunk, but I know I'm not ready for him to stop. As long as he's with me, touching me, kissing me, I'm pleasantly, emotionally numbed and I fucking like it. I nod slowly, trying to tell him it's okay. It's like someone hits play on a remote as he leans forward and gives me a long slow lick from my cleavage to my neck. I shiver against him as the cool air hits the moist trail he's just created. My eyes slam shut as he tugs one of my nipples into his mouth, roughly sucking through my bra.
I break into a fit of giggles as I look down, it looks like he's giving the yellow smiley face a big, wet, sloppy kiss. He moves his head over and nips at the skin between by breasts. Transforming my giggles into moans as he grabs my ass, kneading and massaging it with his large, capable hands.
I reach forward and push his shirt off his shoulders before yanking his vest over his head. He returns the favor by undoing my bra and promptly tossing it to the side. He tugs a nipple into his warm, moist mouth, laving it with his tongue. He pushes my skirt up around my waist and shoves the crotch of my panties to the side. I whimper in pleasant surprise as he shoves a finger inside me, almost rough with his ministrations. I throw my head back, crying out in pleasure as he adds another finger, plunging them in and out of me as his mouth roams over my breasts, practically devouring me in the best way possible. He brings his thumb into play, rolling my clit under the thick digit, sending small shocks of pleasure coursing through me.
"Please, please, please," I beg, not quite sure what I'm begging for.
I do know that I'm about to cum though. He brings me closer and closer to the edge and just as I'm about to dive over that blissful brink, he fucking stops. I almost cry in frustration as he yanks his fingers out of me and kisses me hard.
"Not yet," he growls, making my stomach clench in anticipation.
Who knew my easy-going boss was such an animal in the sack? I raise up on my knees to give him room to manoeuver as he yanks his pants down. They're barely off his feet before my hand is diving into his underwear, grabbing and stroking the stiff, engorged piece of flesh nestled between his legs.
"Fuck," he hisses between clenched teeth, grabbing my arms and pressing his forehead to my shoulder.
"Please," I beg again, wanting him inside me, needing him inside me.
I yelp in surprise as I feel myself suddenly rising off the floor. He practically rips my panties off my legs as he plops me onto one of the stools. He pushes my knees apart and slides between my legs as I lean my elbows onto the bar, bracing myself for the delicious impact that I know is coming.
He reaches down between us and I feel him rubbing the tip of his cock along my slit. I'm slick and ready for him, dying for him to get inside me already. To my surprise, instead of just shoving into me, he slowly inches in. He kisses me passionately as he slides inside me, swallowing my muffled moan of pleasure as he fills me.
From the way he started, I'm fully expecting a quick, hard fuck, but he gently eases all the way in and wraps his arms around me, holding me close as he kisses all my cares away. I gasp in pleasure, wrapping my legs around him as he slowly pulls back before driving back in, fucking me in long, slow strokes that rock my very being.
"You don't know how long I've waited for this," he growls in my ear before kissing my neck, laving attention on the heated skin as he slowly picks up the pace, slamming into me a little faster.
My eyes go wide in suprise at his words. I've had a small crush on Mark for ages, but I didn't know he thought about me in that way. I should be surprised at that now, considering the fact that his cock is deep inside me, getting very well acquainted with my pussy.
"Watching you, night after night, forcing myself to keep my hands off you, drove me fucking insane," he rasps before leaning down and claiming a nipple with that amazing mouth of his.
I open my mouth to reply, but all that comes out is a loud moan as he works my chest with his mouth, speeding up his hips, sending me hurtling towards what I already know is going to be an amazing crescendo.
"Oh shit, I'm going to. .. Mark.. .. I. .. Oh God!" I cry out, trying to let him know that I'm about to cum, but I can't seem to string the right words together.
I think he senses it though, because leans forward more on each downward stroke, almost crushing my clit with each frantic stroke. My mind goes wonderfully numb as I feel my whole body shake, turning me into a writhing, boneless mass. I throw my head back, crying out his name as he continues to plunge into me.
I can hear his breathing falter as he starts moving faster, fucking me faster, fingers digging into my hips, holding on tight as he pushes me higher on the bliss scale. I have no idea what I'm saying as I cry out unintelligible things, feeling yet another orgasm building. My pussy is wonderfully sensitive and almost vibrating from the first orgasm as new waves of pleasure wrack my body. With one final stroke, he pushes as deep into me as he can and holds still, flooding me with his warm essence. He doesn't give me a chance to catch my breath before his lips are on mine, kissing me passionately, hands sliding all over my body as he holds me close.
His breath is hot on my neck as he tries to catch his breath. I want to say something, to tell him, 'thank you' and let him know how much I'd needed that, but I don't want to say anything to spoil the moment. We stay like that for a few long moments before he leans back and kisses me. I know eventually one of us will have to say something, that we're going to have to figure out if this changes anything between us but now is not the time.
I hear him groan as he slowly pulls out of me and buries his face in my neck. I gasp in pleasant surprise as he begins kissing his way down my neck, between my breasts and heading further still south. The night is far from over and I can't wait to see what he has planned.. . . .
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<a href="http://www.lushstories.com/stories/straight-sex/southern-comfort.aspx">Southern Comfort</a>