Saturday, June 13, 2015

Curse of the Bejeweled Rosary, Part Two

Dominic sat in a swing bar, the Landing, nursing a drink paid for by the man he’d mugged earlier tonight. In one hand he held his drink, a Long Island Iced Tea, while in the other he held the jeweled rosary, slowly counting the beads, pushing them down the strand with his thumb one at a time. From a first glance, one could tell the rosary was old; far older than the man was who Dominic had gotten this from. It had inscriptions on the cross though they were so faded and in a different language that Dominic had no chance of making them out. He shrugged, wrapping the jeweled beads around his wrist, palming the cross while he took another sip from his drink.

Looking around, he saw in the dim light couples sitting at tables listening to the band play, all while embroiled in their own conversations. Scanning the crowd, he spied a lone woman, green-tinged hair with a skull hoodie pulled up over her head. She was drinking a beer, and despite her best efforts, Dominic could tell she was a beauty; the hoodie hugged her curves and accented her hips and breasts, giving him an inclination that she was someone that he wanted to get to know.
Flagging down a waitress, he smiled at her before placing an order. “See that young lady over there?” He asked, pointing to the green-haired girl. “Bring her another drink and tell her it's on the house courtesy of me.”
The waitress, a short brunette, merely shrugged as he slipped her a ten dollar bill, easily covering the drink and a tip for good measure. Dominic stared at the girl as he ran his finger up the cross slowly, praying to anyone that was listening that she would look over at him when she got the drink and he could wave her over to his table.
The waitress brought her another bottle of beer, speaking in hushed tones before pointing over towards Dominic. The green-haired girl looked over at him and smiled, before standing up, two drinks in her hand. Dominic’s heart thundered in his chest as she sauntered over towards his table, finishing off one beer before starting on the next. She set the empty bottle on his table before pulling out a chair opposite of him, plopping down without an invitation.
“So you normally send girls drinks in bars?” She asked, taking a pull from her beer.
“Only the cute ones,” Dominic replied, his mouth suddenly dry.
“Charming. The name’s Alicia,” she said, raising her bottle in greeting.
“Dominic,” he replied. “You come here often? I only ask because I’m here every Friday night and I never see you.”
“No, I’m just passing through town and heard this was a good place. Good music, cheap drinks… always a good combination, y’know?” She replied, pulling her hood down to reveal her hair to be bunched up behind her neck, along with a series of piercings in her ears on each side. He azure eyes gave her an ethereal look that Dominic rarely saw in women, and he was intrigued by what he saw in her.
“So,” she said after a few moments of silence, “you Catholic?”
“Huh?” He said, confused by the sudden change in conversation.
“The Rosary in your hand that makes you Catholic, right?” She asked, taking another pull from her beer. “I mean, I’ve never seen any non-Catholic with one, so that just begs the question.”
“No,” he replied after a moment, looking down at the Rosary, which gleamed in the low light of the bar. “I’m not Catholic. I’m just an average Christian who happens to like Rosaries.”
 “Weird,” she said. “Especially since you have it out at a bar. What are you doing, praying a girl will notice you?”
“It worked, didn’t it?” Dominic said with a smile, running his thumb over the inlaid gems on the cross.
“Touché,” she replied. “So now that you got me over her after plying me with booze and religious items, what’s your next step?”
“Don’t know, I rarely get this far using that combination,” Dominic laughed. “What do you say we relax and get to know each other and see where the night takes us?”
Alicia smiled. “Sounds like a plan. So you said you come here often, does that mean you’re a local? Or do you just travel here a lot?”
“Oh, I’m a local, I just like the Riverwalk,” Dominic said, finishing off his drink and waving for another one.
“Why? I mean there’s only so much to do on it other than get drunk and see tourists, right?” She asked.
He shrugged. “I like meeting new people.”
She smiled at his flirtatious comment, drinking from her beer while listening to the jazz ensemble reach a crescendo. “So I guess this is the part where you try and get me to come back to your hotel room. Or do you have a home close by?”
Amazed at how quickly things were progressing, Dominic swallowed a lump in his throat. “Umm, your place would be better I think. I have an apartment close by, but it’s a long walk.”
“Well you’re in luck, my hotel is just a couple blocks away,” she said, finishing off her beer and slapping it on the table. “Hurry up and finish your drink so we can get out of here.”
Dominic quickly began drinking his Long Island Iced Tea, chugging the icy cold drink until his throat was numb. He dropped a twenty on the table and stood up, wiping his mouth on his sleeve. Alicia got up and took him by the hand, before guiding him out of the bar and out onto the busy walkway, walking with the flow of traffic.
Dominic and Alicia laughed and joked around, asking each other silly questions as they made their way to her hotel. She’d majored in Theatre Arts at a University in Georgia, he was a part-time chef at a local Blue Crab restaurant. She collected pieces of art from wherever she traveled, and he was blood type AB. Silly little things that passed the time until they made it to her hotel.

By the time they made it to her hotel room, they could barely keep their hands off each other.   

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