Enjoy this excerpt. Emily and her friend Allison take in their first club scene. And guess who’s there…
“There it is,” I said pointing at the club.
“Wow, it’s busy.” Allison rolled up her window and smoothed her hair back into
“I know, look at all those people outside,” I said. As I parked the car, I noticed they
were lined up to get in. This should be interesting. We walked over to the line, which
seemed not to be moving at all. I glanced up watching the line, as if that alone would
make it go faster. Then I saw him and looked down quickly.
“What?” she asked.
“Oh,” I paused for a second, wondering if I should say anything. “I just saw this guy
from my Spanish class. It’s kind of embarrassing.”
Read on for this…“Thank you for the dance.” Without hesitation but with a sense of entitlement he lifted my hand to his lips.
“Well, then you definitely need to spill it.” We moved up as the line moved, and I
followed Allison, trying to stay behind her.
“The first day of class he was sitting in front of me, and when he passed me the stack
of, um, syllabus things – I dropped them all over the floor. I’m such a klutz.”
“You dropped some papers. What’s so embarrassing about that?”
“I’m clumsy. I’d like to forget it.” All I could think: could I be more of a dork?
“Hey. Maybe he’ll let us move up,” Allison said jokingly, smacking my arm and
craning her neck to see him. “Which one is he?”
“Knock it off, he’ll see you,” I muttered, shrinking even further behind her.
During this little fiasco, the line moved until we were almost in front. When we got
inside, I relaxed. It was pretty dark. There was no way I was going to run into him. But
despite the challenge I squinted and looked around. The scene was quite a sight. The
cliques had their varying styles. The Billy Idol wanna-bes were grouped together
bouncing on the dance floor. And I could have sworn the Miami Vice look was out, but I
wasn’t going to tell the group to my left. The boom of the speakers shook the half-full
glasses on the bar causing the ice to settle. I thought I smelled a hint of cloves, but I
didn’t see anyone smoking where I was standing. Allison touched my arm and walked
ahead of me toward the bar. I followed, licking my lips and thinking of a cold soda.
Allison immediately spotted Heather and Melinda from the Beta T house, waving at them
to join us.
“So, Allison, see anyone here you want to dance with?” Heather asked, with a teasing
jab to Allison’s ribs. Allison laughed and flipped her hair a little. Oh, nice move.
Normally I detested such transparent flirting gestures, but a couple of guys turned her
way, so it must work. I turned to Melinda. I thought maybe I could strike up a
conversation with her, but stopped cold when I saw her chewing her straw and smiling in
typical blank-faced glamazon fashion. Wow, they were good.
While we talked and sipped our drinks, I noticed several guys watching our group but
no one approached. Taking the last sip of my soda, I set it on the table beside us. As I
pulled my arm back I felt it graze someone. I jerked away. It was crowded, dark and loud,
a combination that made it difficult to see, hear, or even feel what was going on.
“Excuse me.” I said to whomever could hear me.
“No problem.” A deep voice.
The crowd parted just a little and I saw a tall, dark-haired guy walk two steps toward
me between tables. He had a wide smile, perfectly straight teeth, and warm brown eyes. I
He lifted his drink, and pointed his glass at me. “You are in my Spanish class, aren’t
“Yes. I think so,” I said as if I wasn’t really sure. Lie. Lie. Lie.
“Yeah, you were supposed to translate my syllabus.” He waited for me to reply. “It’s
Graham, remember?” He looked at me expectantly. “So do you have a name or should I
just call you Spanish Girl?”
“Sorry, it’s Emily.” I extended my hand to shake his; he switched his drink to the
other hand and reached for mine. His handshake was strong at first, then he relaxed it a
little, continuing to hold my hand in his. I looked him over. He was dressed, I guess I
would have to say, preppy. His jeans were dark and clearly new. His crisp white shirt had
the collar folded outside his black jacket. His dark hair was combed just so, with the front
“Who’s your friend, Emily?” Heather asked, interjecting herself into our
conversation. I was slightly annoyed; not because she interrupted us, but because she
slipped her arm around my shoulder as if we had been best friends for years. I wanted to
shrug off her arm, but that would’ve been rude.
With the interruption, we let go of each other’s hands. “This is Graham…” I gave him
a blank stare.
“Graham Mitchell,” He finished for me. “I’m in Emily’s Spanish class.”
“I’m Heather Michaels.” She extended her hand, in princess style, fingers pointed
slightly toward the floor, soft and gentle. I looked down to hide the smile creeping across
my face. Graham reached for her hand with a firm shake then let it drop. Heather looked
positively put out by this. I couldn’t have been more pleased.
“So Emily, would you like to dance?” he asked before Heather could continue.
“Yes, I would.” I guess a friendly dance couldn’t hurt. I turned to meet Allison’s gaze
so she would know where I was going.
Graham set down his glass and reached for my hand. He cupped his hand around
mine but held only one of my fingers and pulled me through the crowd. We snaked
around groups of people talking, couples dancing, and people making their way to the bar
before we found a spot on the dance floor. He turned to me and put one of his hands
along my waist. He leaned in and started to move to the music. I took a step back as if it
was part of a dance move, and he dropped his hand. I was always surprised that dancing
was a way to get close to someone you hardly knew. It was intimate…and I wasn’t ready.
As we danced he leaned in a couple of times with his hand on my waist again in an
attempt to talk. It was too loud. I only caught about every other word. My replies
consisted of “What?” – “Pardon?” and “I didn’t get that.”
When the song ended he took my hand again, this time wrapping his whole hand
around mine and led me to the bar.
“I’m thirsty, aren’t you?” he asked as he pulled me around to face him.
“Sure.” I shrugged, indicating I was fine either way.
He ordered drinks and leaned an elbow on the bar, waiting for the bartender.
“So what’s your story, Emily?” he asked, with just a hint of a smirk. He was
confident, bordering on arrogant, and warm and inviting all at the same time. Handsome
with an edge. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but there was something there.
“My story?” Our drinks arrived and I took a sip of 7 Up, keeping my eyes on his.
“There’s not much to tell.” I planned to keep up the flirty behavior, but he interrupted
“I doubt that.”
I took another sip of my drink, and let the silence between us hang for a second or
two. Fine, I guess, I could tell him my “story.”
“Well, I recently moved here from northern California. What about you?
“I’m a local. I grew up in Santa Monica mainly. It’s my second year. I take it you and
your friends are freshmen?”
“Yeah,” I said as if I was ashamed.
“Is the girl with the blond short hair your roommate? I noticed the look you gave
“Not my roommate. She’s a friend. We came together.”
“So, you know. I really could use a Spanish study partner. What do you think?”
I let the question rattle around in my head for a few seconds, “Sure.” I had expected
the subject to come up again at some point.
Just then someone touched my shoulder.
“There you are. Heather and Melinda want us to go to this frat party. You’re not
ready to go are you?” I wasn’t sure exactly what Allison meant. Did that mean she was or
wasn’t ready to go?
I saw a guy I hadn’t seen before in tow behind Allison. Evidently she had met
someone. There were several guys and a few girls behind him so I presumed it was a
group associated with the Beta T house.
“Oh, if you’re ready to go then I am.” I said. Allison nodded that she was ready. I
was having a good time with Graham but I was there with Allison, so I needed to stick
with her. I hadn’t been to a fraternity party, and I was interested in seeing what all the
fuss was about.
I turned to Graham. “Thanks for the dance and the soda. I think we’re taking off.”
He leaned in so that only I could hear him. “Thank you for the dance.” Without
hesitation but with a sense of entitlement he lifted my hand to his lips. I was a little
surprised by the gesture, and couldn’t help but like it. When I turned back to Allison her
mouth had dropped open. I cleared my throat, and she turned to lead the way from the
“See you in class… Spanish Girl.” I turned back with what I hoped was a confident