Sweet Forty-Two
Author:Andrea Randall

“Yep. Pretty hot, huh? How about that ass?” Blushing CJ left, and vile CJ returned with a mock ass-slapping gesture.


I rolled my eyes. “Classy. So, what gives?”


CJ looked genuinely confused. “What do you mean?”


“You’ve known her a long time, she’s pretty good looking ... and you’ve never?”


“Nah, it’s ... complicated. Her mom got sick and left her dad, and then Georgia moved out here ... it’s not important. We’re just friends.” He nodded toward the middle of the bar, signaling Georgia’s return.


“Here you go, boys.” She leaned forward and set our pints of Guinness in front of us.


As she pulled her hand away I noticed a tattoo on the thumb side of her left index finger, running the length of it. I’d assumed the first tattoo I’d noticed was a one-off. A dare. A flight of fancy. More than one tattoo, though, takes guts. Judging by the type and location of the two on Georgia, though, I was betting she had more.


I wanted to know where they were.


I didn’t look long enough to read what it said, because I got distracted. I can’t be sure, but it looked like she’d unbuttoned an extra button on her shirt. Either way, there was a lot of cleavage staring CJ and me in the face. He wasn’t even looking, which made me uncomfortable since he was the pervert, and I was the one who couldn’t look away. I shouldn’t have been looking. Though, I suppose the fact that I wanted to was a good sign of some sort of moving forward.


Or, it was just cleavage.


“Thanks, G. What’s the matter? You look pissed.” CJ took a large gulp of his dark beer, never taking his gaze from her eyes.


“Fuckers,” she muttered. “We had Celtic Cross lined up to play tonight and they bailed. Their drummer can’t hold his liquor, apparently, and is too hung over.”


“Lightweight.” CJ chuckled, drinking more of his beer.


“Anyway — hey,” Georgia stopped her train of thought as her beautiful eyes widened, “you still play, don’t you?”


“Won’t ever stop.” He smirked.


“Come. Tonight. I’ll try to get some other people in here. You can pull something off, can’t you? It’s going to be packed in here tonight and they need music. Please?” She batted her short, dark eyelashes and he caved.


CJ nodded in my direction. “Regan plays the fiddle. Not just plays ... owns. I bet we could get Bo and Ember to come along too. They play guitar, sing…”


Georgia smiled brightly and looked right at me. “Oh, so those gorgeous eyes of yours can read more than just my breasts?”


CJ spit some of his beer back into his glass. “Burn, dude.”


“I ... uh...” I looked down immediately, vowing to never look back up.


Georgia leaned in so close I could feel her breath on my neck. “It’s okay,” was all she said before she turned away and took care of some patrons at the other end of the bar.


“Let’s get out of here before you embarrass yourself some more.” CJ slapped my back and hopped off his stool.


“I don’t even think that’s possible,” I grumbled as I followed him toward the exit.


CJ shouted across the bar as we reached the door. “See you tonight, G. Is nine o’clock okay?”


“You got it, Ceej. Nice meeting you, Regan.” Her voice brightened at the end of her sentence as if she were mocking me.


Kill me now.


“Bye.” I waved without turning around.


There was no way I’d be playing at E’s now.








“You sure that tall drink of water is coming back tonight, G?” Lissa snatched my vampire-red lipstick from my fingers, as we got ready for the night’s shift.


It didn’t look right on her, but it made her feel right. In the end, that’s everything.


I snatched the lipstick back. It looked and felt right. Tonight would be a gold mine. I felt it.


“Did you say tall drink of water?” I chuckled without smiling, my mouth formed in an O as I finished my second coat of a sure thing. “Yeah, he’ll be back. CJ’s never turned down a gig as long as I’ve known him.”


“No, I mean that guy he was with.”


I grinned, recalling those hazel eyes on me. “That’s his cousin, Regan. I don’t know anything about him.”


Lissa finished spiking her jet-black pixie cut and closed the cap of her hair wax. “What about CJ? Is he fair game?” She pulled down the neckline of her spaghetti-strap tank top.


“Knock your socks off, Liss.” CJ was a sure thing. He’d always been.


Not with me, though. With us it was ... different. He was safe, and so was I. I gazed in the mirror, remembering our joint conquests in high school. Teaming up to find the hottest people in the bar my dad owned became a game. A game we both got damn good at in no time.


Lissa whistled to get my attention. “What’s that look? You want CJ? You can have him. That Regan guy looks like he’d be a good time.”


“Have them both, for all I care. I’ve got tips to make and I’m not counting on my old high school friend.” After applying eggplant-colored eyeliner on my top and bottom lids, I hiked the hem of my dress as far up as it would go and still be considered a dress. The unwritten rule with nighttime attire was to take more risks than daytime.