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Things of the Flesh
byP. A. Pursley
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Making her way around the perimeter of the bar, she tried to stay out of the way of the entangled crowd of bodies on the dance floor. There were tables lining the edge of the dance floor which she barely missed as she inched her way past them. She bumped into several people as she turned her body in different directions trying to get past the dancing people on one side and seated customers on the other.
Jayden was more than three-fourths of the way back to the table when someone on the dance floor bumped her left side, pushing her into a group of men sitting at a table. The force of the nudge caused her to fall over onto one of the men who was lifting his glass to his mouth when her body hit his arm.
Liquid flew all over the man's nice shirt and slacks. Jayden stiffened in horror at what she had done. She apologized profusely grabbing the small cocktail napkins from the table to soak up the drink that was now all over the man's suit. All the while she tried to sop up the liquid, she apologized to the man.
What happened next sent Jayden into a roller coaster of emotions starting with confusion. The man started laughing. When he did, all the other men at the table also laughed. She immediately stopped trying to dry the man's clothing with the inefficient napkins. Next, the man stood up. He towered a good twelve inches over her. He looked down at her and then reached over and cupped her chin. This was about the time embarrassment settled into her face.
"Trent, you're embarrassing her," one of the men at the table said, which brought about snickers from the others.
"Embarrassed? Shy?" the man asked Jayden, trying to guess the meaning behind her avoidance of looking him in the eyes. She tried to lower her face, but his hand prevented it. She simply shrugged. "Why don't you and me go out there and dance for a little while?" As he said this, his hand caressed her neck.
"I have some friends..." Jayden started to say, but the man stopped her.
"They can wait." He caressed her some more.
She had never been touched like that by a man, and it both excited and frightened her.
"Trent, leave the poor girl alone." The same man that had tried to initially defend her tried to verbally stop Trent again.
"She spilled a drink on me. I think that deserves at lease one dance to make amends," he directed his comment to the man at the table without turning his gaze from Jayden. "What do you say? One dance?"
"I really need...," again Jayden pointed in the direction of her table, trying unsuccessfully to get away. All she wanted to do at this point was to get back to the table, get her things, and rush home.
"Come on," Trent grabbed her wrist and started for the dance floor.
"No, I...," Jayden didn't get to finish her sentence. Trent pulled her close into him and moved in so close that she could smell the alcohol and stale cigarette smoke as he spoke.
"Look, you spilled a drink on my custom-made Italian suit. It cost me $1,000. You can either dance with me or pay for a new suit. The cleaners can't get wine out of silk."
Her mind raced as she thought about whether or not she had enough money in the bank to pay for a brand new $1,000 Italian suit for this guy in order to get away from him.
"Leave her alone," spoke a deeply accented voice to the left of her, causing her to look up. Standing next to her was an olive skinned man with dark hair and equally dark eyes. He had his hand on Trent's shoulder.
"This is none of your business," Trent addressed the intruder.
"It is if you plan to continue to harass this young lady."
"Who are you? The bouncer?" Trent laughed as well as the other men at the table. Clearly they all had had too much to drink.
"Maybe." The handsome stranger leaned over and challenged the drunken Trent in his Italian suit. "Want to find out?"
Jayden't welcomed intruder certainly didn't look like a bouncer. he certainly wasn't dressed like a bouncer although he had a bouncer's build. But if she were in Trent's shoes, she wouldn't want to find out.
Trent must have thought the same thing because he let go of Jayden's arm then headed back to his table, straightening out his jacket as he did so. He mumbled something under his breath. Jayden thought for sure that the new stranger was going to go over to see what he said, but he didn't. Instead, the handsome new stranger put his hand on Jayden's arm turning her back in the direction of her table.
"Here we go. Stay safe." The olive skinned man led her right back to her table. When she got back to her table, the girls looked at him. Their jaws dropped.
"Who was that?" her girlfriends asked in unison.
"I don't know." Jayden took her place next to Maggie again.
"Whatta ya mean, you don't know?" Maggie asked. "He escorted you back to the table! I thought you were going to the bathroom?"
"I did, but then I was pushed into this guy at a table, and when the guy tried to make me dance with him, this guy," she motioned in the direction where the handsome stranger walked, "came over and rescued me."
"Rescued you?" Rose yelled across the table.
"Yeah, the other guy, Trent, was getting really forceful when this interrupted him."
"Wait! You know the name of the other guy, but you didn't get the name of this tall, dark, handsome man?"
"Forceful?" Alice asked sounding excited.
"Yes, Alice, and not in an exciting way either."
"I didn't mean," Alice started to explain when Tammy hit her arm. That hit made Alice stop talking.
"Where is Trent?" Maggie asked craning her neck trying to look over the standing people in the bar.
"And you didn't get his name?" Teresa asked from the other side of Maggie.
Jayden ignored Maggie's question about the rude Trent. "No, I didn't get his name."
"What were you thinking?" Carol asked
"Obviously, she wasn't," Maggie said, "I would've been like 'what is your name, and can I bear your children?'"
The comment brought about a new burst of laughter around the table. Jayden blushed, casually looking in the direction the handsome stranger had walked. She wished she had gotten his name.
H. W. Mudgett High School seemed like an average high school with the usual student and faculty problems—until Levi Horton decided to play a prank that would open up a whole new realm of school problems. The prank would change everyone, from the principal to the custodian and from the future valedictorian to the school prankster himself.
About the Author
P. A. Pursley lives in Mesquite, Texas, with her husband and dog; she attends Meadow View Church of Christ. She has three daughters, one stepson, a fearless grandson, and a granddaughter who cannot live without her big brother.