The live music hadn’t started yet and wouldn’t for another hour at least. Ariadne of the mermaid hair was holding court behind the bar, pouring beer for hipster and business person alike. When she saw Jan and Corinne enter, her eyes widened. She turned and pulled a pint of their Pale Ale and handed it to the girl as soon as she was in arms reach.
“Thank you!” Corinne giggled. “Your timing is impeccable as always.”
“You must be the old friend I’ve heard next to nothing about. I’m Ari. What can I get you?” She held out her hand.
Jan shook the offering and smiled. “I’m Jan. I’ll take something sour.”
Ari looked Jan up and down and then turned. She came back with a hazy, light orange beverage. “This is our apricot sour. It’s complex and a little funky. I bet that describes you too.”
Jan took the glass and laughed. “I feel seen.” She took a sip and nodded, smacking her lips. “And understood.”
With a firm nod, Ari went off to help other customers.
Jan and Corinne walked over to a nearby concrete column which had a wooden oval secured around its circumference to act as a table. Jan took a seat but Corinne stood. When Jan patted the empty chair next to her, Corinne shook her head.
“If I sit down now I’m afraid you’ll see where I soaked through my panties.” She sipped her beer and felt her face grow hot. Thankful that the crowds on the main floor were still light, and the volume was such that they could talk, Corinne gestured to the room around them. “What do you think?”
Jan nodded. “This is a cool space. Very industrial.” Her eyes flicked towards the ceiling to the odd-looking wooden “sculptures” hanging there. “Someone knows what they’re doing.”
“What do you mean?” Corinne’s eyes followed Jan’s eye line.
“Those do a good job keeping down the echo and they look cool on top of that.” Jan took another long sip and put her glass down.
“I didn’t know that’s what they were for, but the guy who does their sound is a genius. You should talk to him before things really get hopping.”
“I think I’ll do just that.” Jan got up and walked over to the soundboard.
Corinne watched her… Friend? Lover? saunter over to the man standing there. His long black hair was held back by a tie-dye bandanna. He wore blousy purple pants and a black pullover shirt that tied rather than buttoned. He looked like a hippy pirate, right down to the multiple earrings, close-cropped beard, and confidant smile.
He turned to acknowledge Jan and his eyes widened before she’d spoken a word. His face became even more animated and hands moved as he stepped back.
Jan took a look at the hunk of technology and smiled while tapping her chin. She nodded and took a pair of headphones from a hook. She listened to the mix and gestured towards the sliders on the mixer.
“I don’t see Jason get that excited very often.” The voice cut through the music.
Corinne turned around and looked up and up. The dark-skinned man was skinny and tall as fuck. Maybe six and a half feet. “Hi.”
“I’m Don, one of the sound man’s friends.” He held out a hand.
She shook it. “I’m Corinne. I’ve met Jason a few times, but I’ve never met you before.”
“Glad to meet you.” Don sipped his beer. “This is going to be an amazing show.”
Corinne nodded. “It’s my night for amazing shows. I just got back from seeing my friend perform.” She pointed to Jan. “She’s a jazz musician. Well, truthfully she plays it all.”
“That must be why Jason looks like he just met Santa. He’s a jazz nerd. Not my thing, but that’s mostly because I’m not educated in it. Jason’s fixing that.”
The pair walked over from the soundboard. Jason was a good foot taller than Jan. “Dude, this woman plays for Awoken.” After a few blank looks, he continued. “Only the best combo to come out of Julliard in the last ten years.”
Jan laughed. “Thank you but I don’t know about that.”
Don chuckled along. “If Jason says it, it must be true.”
Corinne held her hand to her heart. “I knew she was good, but I didn’t have time to really research…” In truth, she’d been so excited to see Jan she just didn’t do it.
Jan straightened her tie. “You’re going to make my head swell.”
Jason held out his pint glass for a toast. “To excellent talent and humility.” The glasses clinked with more laughter. “It’s not often that I let anyone tweak my board, but she just improved my mix quite a bit.”
“You let her touch your mix.” Don raised an eyebrow. “She must be something special.”
Jan put her arm around Corinne’s shoulders, a little possessively. “She’s special, alright.”
Jan kissed the side of Corinne’s head. “Thank you, dear.”
The men exchanged a glance that seemed to say “It’s like that, then?” And Corinne didn’t care, because it was like that. And she was glad of it.
The rest of the night passed with laughter, music, and no small amount of really good beer. When they were tired of dancing and flirting, they emerged into the cool mountain air – rich with the smell of laurels – Jan’s arm around her shoulders,
“Where do you live?” Jan’s eyes were a little glazed.
“Not very far, thank goodness.” Neither one of them were really fit to drive, so they’d called a cab. It should be there any minute.
“I can’t wait to get you into bed.” Jan put her arms around Corinne’s waist and pressed her lips to the pulse point near the join of her neck.
Corinne moaned. “Me either.” She didn’t care that her little house was a bit of a wreck. All she wanted were Jan’s lips everywhere.
The toot of the horn interrupted them and Corinne checked her app to make sure the cab was hers. They bundled into the back seat and she gave their driver the address.
“You guys could almost walk there.” The driver quipped.
Corinne suppressed a gasp as she felt Jan’s hand brush her inner thigh. “If it were summer, we would.” There was many a night where she’d do just that, provided she wasn’t alone. Some of her neighbors were regulars so it was awesome to spend a leisurely hour taking the walk and laughing over whatever shenanigans they’d gotten up to. The only thing that made it sad was arriving home to an empty bed.
They sat in the near dark, street lamps occasionally peering in. Jan’s finger eased under the leg band of her panties and caressed the pouty flesh underneath. Her movements were slow and tender, “What was your favorite part of tonight?”
Really? Jan was torturing her and expected her to talk? “That last dance was pretty amazing.” The esses were a little drawn out. She wiggled a little but that only served to push the other woman’s finger in a little deeper. Not that that was a bad thing.
“The music was amazing. Oh, maybe you could sing for me later?” Jan rested her head on Corinne’s shoulder. That maddening finger brushed her clit.
Corinne almost “sang” then and there. She nodded and bit her lip. “Mmmmhmmm.”
Jan pulled her finger out and licked it clean.
The driver pulled to a stop. “Here we are. Thank you for flying the friendly skies. If you would be so kind, leave me five stars. Tip is optional.”
Jan reached over the intervening seats and handed the man a bill. “Will do.”
“Dude is fine.” Jan chuckled.
“Thanks, dude. You two go in there and finish what you started.”
Corinne climbed out and Jan was right behind her. She felt Jan’s warmth press up against her while she fished out her keys. When Jan nipped her ear, she moaned. “You want me to puddle right here? Because that’s how you get me to puddle right here?” Goosebumps raced up and down the length of her body.
As the door opened, Jan rushed her inside and pressed her against the nearest wall, kicking the door shut behind her. Jan’s mouth was so warm and wet on hers. Hands cupped her ass. She ran her fingers through Jan’s short black hair. Their tongues pressed together, teeth clicking.