June shook her head, shooing away the last of the sober customers out of the bar. It had been a long day and they were the easiest ones to get out of the place at closing time. Turning around, she put her hands on her hips and eyed the drunken ones. A bar for the supernatural side of the world was hard enough to run but dealing with an intoxicated shifter or demon made things so much harder.
Thankfully, none of the patrons still hanging around were either one of those or she’d have to call on the boss to help her clear them out. A bear shifter was enough to get most people out without much hassle but she was only a half-breed with too much human.
Going for the new guy at the end, she gently eased the glass from his hand and quickly snatched the car keys out of his hand when he attempted to say that he’d drive home. It wasn’t the bartender’s job to do so but she just let him drive home when he couldn’t even say his own name without slurring each syllable.
As she dialed Mick, the cab driver who took home their drunks for free, she couldn’t help but feel bad for the guy. His girlfriend had left him for an incubus, not really anything new when dealing with those creatures but the poor man had been preparing to propose. He’d lost his would be fiancée to a male who would use and abuse her once or twice before moving on.
Incubi were always a great one night fling but they were as addictive as they were dangerous. Even if the girlfriend came back, it was unlikely they’d stay together. No matter how loyal he had been to her.
Sending him off, she moved onto the easier ones. There were always a couple of regulars that she had to chase off at the end of the night. Sometimes she was nice and let them hang around while she cleaned up but tonight she just wanted them out, all of them.
“Alright Moe, Walsh; time to go,” She spun both of their chairs around as she passed by them and picked up some leftover glasses from a table. Only Moe, the city’s only Seer, got up to leave. She didn’t have to worry about him much, he didn’t own a car and his place was right down the street. All she’d have to do is make sure that he didn’t have a vision halfway there and was stuck, frozen in place, in the middle of the road.
Waving goodbye, she wiped down the counter and tried to focus on anything but the green eyes that she knew were watching her every move. At first, it had really bothered her that he was so fascinated in her but now it made her skin crawl in an entirely new way and she was not sure how she felt about it just yet.
The worst part was that she was ninety nine percent positive that he knew she was attracted to him. One of the last things that you wanted a Clurichaun to know was that they were under your skin.
“It’s time to go Walsh, don’t even try that ‘too drunk to leave’ crap; I know your kind only function in drunk mode,” she shooed him as best she could without looking up at him for more than a few seconds.
Clurichauns were like the cousins that the leprechauns wished never existed. Not only did their heights range from six inches to six feet but they were the reason that humans thought the Irish were all drunkards and that a leprechaun was never without a beer in their hand. They were always drunk and were nasty little buggers when deprived of their ‘life blood’ for more than a couple days. It was a part of their nature, something they needed or they’d literally die.
Her boss had brought in a Clurichaun that a human had been keeping caged and the little thing was wasting away, not because of lack of food or water, but because she didn’t have the alcohol that her kind needed. Walsh had been there to help at the time but it was still horrible to watch.
This one, however, was fairly well behaved when he was drunk. It was a rarity that she was happy to have but it made his stubbornness all the more difficult to deal with. Drunks could be persuaded better but functioning drunks that were gentlemen for the most part were difficult.
“Juunnneee buggg, I thought we had moved past using last names,” June focused her attention on a stubborn piece of grime on the counter in order to keep herself from shivering at the way he drawled out her name. It wasn’t fair. All she got from her Faerie blood was pretty skin and an impossibly long life span, what she wouldn’t do for a gorgeous voice like he and so many others had.
“And I thought we moved past fighting to get you out so that I can close up on time,” She risked a sidelong glance towards him in the form of a glare and cursed his cheeky smile and handsome face and ginger hair that just fit the entire look. It wasn’t the first time she had found herself mentally cursing the fact that he was so cute.
He shifted and she had to remind herself to act natural. That meant that her flinching away just because he invaded her comfort zone to the point that she could smell his cologne was not allowed. If this happened before she became aware of her attraction, she would’ve just glared and given him a little push. In fact, she had done it more than once when he decided to tease her.
Still, he smelt of cinnamon and brandy and it was unique enough to be enticing. Drunk or not, he was a danger to her health.
Throwing the rag over her shoulder, she turned and glared up at him. Chin raised in an attempt to look bigger than she really was and hands on her hips, she figured that she was playing as stern as she had ever managed with him.
“I’m just curious is all,” his words earned him an arched brow that said everything that she didn’t need to. What it didn’t express though was the fear of what exactly he was curious about; a fear that became very real and made it very hard to breathe when he finished her sentence. “Why have you been avoiding me all night little lady?”
Ohhh, he had to know. There was no way he didn’t know the exact reason and she had to make a list in her head of all the people to smack tomorrow that could have possibly let it slip anywhere close to this impossibly cute man.
“Avoiding you?” She could play clueless; it was something that she was relatively good at and helped when human police came sniffing around in the bar. “Walsh, I brought you all of your drinks.”
“You did your job but you avoided every attempt at conversation that I made. It was very hurtful Junebug.”
“Would you stop calling me that!?” Expert avoiding if she did say so herself, at least it was enough to get him off of that topic for a moment. Gave her a bit of time to think of a good answer.
“Are you going to stop calling me by my last name?”
“…Fine Finn, you need to go now. You can even take the last of your drink.” Her hands moved to cross over her chest, an unconscious move to put a bit more space between them. It didn’t give her more than a couple more inches but she’d take what she could get.
“You’re avoiding the subject now,” A very observant man he was and as nice as it was to see that, it only drove her anxiety higher. Growling under her breath about stubborn drunks, she reached out to push him towards the door. Sometimes, the gentle but forceful approach was needed to deal with this and then she could return to spazzing out alone and in peace.
Unfortunately, Finn had other plans. She found her wrists caught in his and no matter how she tugged, he wasn’t letting her go. Being trapped added actual anger behind her glare and she fully intended on yelling at him. Every fiber of her being was ready to do so up until the point that he tugged her towards him and what little space that had been between them was nonexistent.
He was well-built, more so than she had imagined and she allowed herself all of a millisecond to ponder the muscles she felt before trying to move away again. This was far too close than what her brain could handle right now.
“You’re nervous, June, why?” If anything, his questioning paired with the way he wouldn’t let her go only made her glower at him more. She didn’t have to answer him. It was safer than denying it or confirming it. “Does it have anything to do with what Silva was being so secretive about?”
Well, at least she knew who she had to smack for getting her into this situation. It didn’t help that her face warmed just from the statement alone and was probably giving him all the confirmation he needed.
“I’m not exactly sure what she was being secretive about, why don’t you ask her?” Wasn’t exactly a lie. This was the last time she was ever going to tell a sprite about anything. They were notorious gossips but she just needed a female friend to vent to and Silva had been there.
“I’m asking you.” His mouth was set in a stubborn line and June was very proud of herself for managing to keep her gaze away from it. The attraction was far more obvious now that they were close but she couldn’t, wouldn’t, give in. Not when she heard that he had a little red headed girlfriend. June didn’t want to be the other woman in any relationship.
“And I’m exhausted and would like to close up for the night so that I can go home and sleep.” His grip didn’t loosen any and she heaved an unhappy sigh. They couldn’t stand like this all night and she really did have a job to do. “So you’re going to have to be a little more specific if you want to know anything about Silva’s secrets.”
“Fine,” June was trying hard to focus on everything but him by making a list of everything that she had to clean up before she could close. It was distracting enough that was able to tune him out for the most part. “Just admit you’re attracted to me and let me take you out for dinner.”
“Fine, I’m attracted to…wait what?” Her eyes snapped back towards him as her brain processed what she had been saying. He had tricked her. He had tricked her and she had fallen for it enough that the very thing she didn’t want getting out did. Closing her mouth, she turned her head away again so that she wouldn’t have to see his victorious grin and her furious blush was only half noticeable.
“So for dinner, how does Wednesday work for you?” He seemed pleased enough with his victory that he let her go. Once she was free, June turned away and tried to will her body back under her control. It had betrayed her in every shape and form tonight.
“No day is good for me,” as hard as it was to turn down the offer, she had to. She had been cheated on enough to not wish that upon anyone, especially a customer that she actually enjoyed talking to.
“Why not?” There was a twinge of something in his voice and she had to convince herself that it wasn’t hurt. It couldn’t be. Not when he had a pretty girl to go home to.
“Your girlfriend Finn. The red headed shifter that is practically glued to your side when she comes in,” the fact that he needed the reminder only made it easier to say no. What kind of guy would forget a girl like that?
“Rebecca?” Cleaning another glass, she nodded slowly without looking at him. She was just a half breed bartender anyway, no competition for a shifter and all of their natural grace. His hands turning her back towards him nixed the whole ‘don’t look at him cause it’s easier that way’ idea. “Rebecca is my brother’s wife. She’s a bit timid so she likes to stick close to family members. She isn’t my girlfriend.”
Blinking and biting her lip, June blushed for a whole new reason other than her attraction being found out. She had just assumed from the way they acted that they were dating, never took into account that many shifters paid attention to their instincts for familial comfort in environments that made them nervous.
Would you look at that, three down, a lot more to go~ Moving along slowly but at least I’m getting them up now.
Next Creature: Korrigan