Yikes this was supposed to go up on Ash’s birthday, but you get the point. Enjoy!
Word Count: 2.5k+
Another drunken line of girls passed by me on a determined path to the bathroom, bumping the cheap tiara on my head in the process. I huffed in response while adjusting the ridiculously glittery ‘Birthday Girl’ sash my friends bought and took the opportunity to swipe the newly freed seats near the bar so I could people-watch. An overflow of sweaty bodies wriggled and swayed on every inch of the dance floor free of inhibition due to their intoxication levels. Some men were getting encouraging pats on the backs from their wolf packs of friends before shooting their shot with whichever girl happened to be giggling their way. People throughout the club whooped and hollered when the DJ switched to some vaguely different genre of party music that the lively crowd could fist-bump and grind to.
After straining my neck to check the entrance of the club for the umpteenth time in the past 15 minutes, I turned back around to see a mesmerizing pair of hazel eyes peering into mine. I hadn’t realized how deeply I was staring until the wavy-haired individual tried speaking to me over the loud music.
“I’m sorry, what?” I shouted closer to him.
“I asked if you wanted a refill,” he said loudly while gesturing to my half empty water.
My phone buzzed in my hand, indicating I was getting a text. I briefly looked down at the preview of the message from my friends’ group chat.
Sent at 8:43pm
1: Y/N I’m so sorry honey I can’t make it :( I thought I could cram for this test but there’s way more content than I thought
Sent at 8:44pm
2: ^^ me too :/ my boyfriend’s game went into overtime and I’m pretty sure they’re celebrating after. Maybe another time?
I rolled my eyes and looked back up at the stranger clearing the table of leftover drinks and glasses.
“Actually, I think I was just heading out,” I said standing from my seat.
“So soon?” He asked with raised eyebrows.
“Yeah, clubbing on your birthday just doesn’t have the same ring to it when you’re by yourself,” I replied.
“You don’t have any friends coming to celebrate with you?” He questioned as he wiped the table down and went behind the bar counter.
I followed his trail and answered with evident irritation, “Nope, they suddenly had other plans that were more important this evening.”
“Well,” he planted both of his hands on the counter, “I, in good conscious, can’t let you end tonight as the unhappy birthday girl.”
“And why is that?” I asked curiously.
“Because I’m going to become your new favorite barkeep,” he said with a proud smile. “And it is with this new title that I solemnly promise,” he raised his right hand as if he was taking an oath, “…to ensure that the rest of tonight does not suck for you.”
A small smirk grew on my face at the mischievous man in front of me.
“You can’t be serious, right?” I asked incredulously. “I don’t even know you!”
“How about this, birthday girl” he glanced at a few people walking up to the bar, most likely to order new drinks, “My name is Ashton. I like going on adventures and buying vanilla scented candles. My favorite part of movies are the trailers and I don’t understand how zodiac signs work. I’m gonna come back over here at 9 when my shift ends. If you decide by then that you don’t think an innocent night of fun with me is better than sitting at home by yourself, I will personally call you an Uber and let you go home,” he smiled walking away.
“You should add ‘cocky’ to that little bio of yours,” I playfully said with my arms crossed.
“Not cocky!” He shouted over his shoulder, “just hopeful.”
Promptly at 9:00, Ashton popped out of a room near the back of the club in his normal clothes and re-approached me at the bar.
“So, birthday girl,” he leaned on the counter, “what’s our verdict?”
“Well seeing as you made such an appealing case and I don’t want to put this outfit to waste, I think one night of adventure couldn’t hurt,” I said in a posh tone of voice.
“Then what are we waiting around for?” He asked holding his hand out. I grabbed it and he helped me out of my seat. “Let’s get this party started.”
With that, Ashton led me out of the club and towards the parking lot. He pulled out his car keys and hit the unlock button, bringing my eyes to the flashing headlights on a black mustang.
“This is you?” I asked in disbelief.
He shrugged and replied opening the passenger door for me, “Well I can’t have the birthday princess walking around on her feet all night now, can I?”
“How considerate of you. And when did I upgrade to princess?” I said getting into the car and reaching over to open his door.
Ashton entered on his side of the car and strapped on his safety belt before brandishing that smile of his once more to answer, “When you decided to spend your night with me.” With that remark, Ashton revved up the engine and we dashed through the streets filled with nightlife.
My eyes scanned the various strings of bright lights and neon signs on the buildings near us as the car slowed to a stop. Ashton and I exited the car and re-joined hands as he led me towards the entrance of a building that had a string of people waiting in line to enter. We approached the bouncer - who could easily be mistaken for a ten-foot brick wall - with an icy glare.
“Sam!” Ashton shouted with open arms. The bouncer turned around and suddenly smiled widely, “Ashton!” The two shared a brief hug and fell into small talk.
“How long has it been man?” The bouncer said.
“It’s definitely been too long, buddy, but I was just in the neighborhood and wanted to show my friend here a good time,” Ashton said gesturing to me.
I shook Sam’s outreached hand and smiled, “Hi, I’m Y/N.”
“Nice to meet you, Y/N. Any friend of Ashton is a friend of mine.”
“Do you think you can let us in? I want to introduce her to Mitchy,” Ashton politely asked.
“Of course, but you know the drill man,” Sam giving a side eye towards the line of hopeful club goers beginning to look towards us.
Ashton nodded understandably and leaned towards me to whisper, “Just go with it.”
Before I could ask what ‘it’ was that Ashton was referring to, Sam started shouting.
“Look dammit, I’m not gonna say it again: if you want in you have to wait in line just like everybody else!”
“Fine! No need to get all testy,” Ashton shouted back while we walked backwards with displeased expressions.
While the people waiting in line hooted their agreements at Sam and went back to their own business, Sam winked at us and let down the rope for us to enter while whispering, “You guys enjoy your night,” with a thumbs-up.
I laughed at the switch in his demeanor and followed Ashton into the building. My eyes glimmered and a smile grew on my face as I looked over the chandeliers and walked down the slightly spiraled staircase past a few bottle girls that could very well be models. The all white decor on the top and bottom levels of the building were being splotched with reflections of the blue pink and green lights from the tiled dance floor and the DJ’s station. I was disrupted from my cotton candy dream when Ashton continued to lead me to the bar where a tattooed man in sunglasses stood.
“Ash is that you?” He called out.
“You’re pretty popular around here, huh?” I asked Ashton with a smirk.
“You could say that,” he chuckled and bro-hugged the man at the bar.
“Is this the pretty girl you were texting me about?” The tattooed pointed towards me, causing me to raise my eyebrows.
Ashton turned beet red and the man stepped up to me, “My name’s Mitchy, one of Ashton’s good friends. Unless I’ve got the wrong glasses on, you must be the birthday girl.”
“That’s right,” I said adjusting my sash so the letters were in the right place. “And this one over here is my event guide for the night,” I said nodding towards Ashton.
“Well he brought you to the right place,” he said leading me to a bar stool and going behind the counter. “First two rounds are on me!”
“Mitch, you don’t have to do that man,” Ashton said waving his hands.
“Nonsense! First round is for her birthday, and the second is for yours,” Mitchy continuing to conjure up a suitable beverage to start the night.
My head quickly whipped around to Ashton with my mouth agape, “When is your birthday?!”
“It might also be tonight,” he said nonchalantly with his fingers interlaced in the countertop.
“Seriously?” I questioned.
“It’s not that big of a deal,” he shrugged.
I took the plastic tiara off of my head and placed it on his and said, “Guess who’s the birthday princess now?” making Ashton laugh with an accompanying clap.
Mitchy slid two shot glasses towards us layered with various spirits. Ashton reached for one, but Mitchy lightly swatted his hand away and held up a finger as if to say ‘wait for it’ while pulling a lighter out of his pocket. My eyebrows were furrowed until Mitchy sparked a flame and lit the upper layer of our shots aflame.
“Holy shit. What is that?” I said staring at the beverage.
“It’s informally titled flaming liquid cocaine, but tonight it’s your birthday candle,” Mitchy stated proudly.
“In that case,” Ashton began, “make a wish, princess.”
Mitchy counted us off on three and we blew out the flame, quickly picking up the glass to down the liquid. I shook my head as warmth crept through my belly and up my spine. “Oh my god that tasted like Christmas.”
“Lucky for you, not-so Saint Nick has another one of those coming up,” Mitchy said re-sparking his lighter, making Ashton and I whoop in response.
“What do you mean you can’t dance?” Ashton was baffled bringing me onto the dance floor.
“I said what I said! Unless there’s instructions in the song, I can’t dance for shit!” I told him.
Ashton laced our fingers and brought us closer together, slowly beginning to sway us into the tempo of the upbeat song currently playing, “I don’t believe that for a second.”
“Alright, but don’t say anything when I step in your toes,” I retaliated making his glazed eyes squint while he giggled.
As many times as I stumbled, Ashton kept me on my feet and in a great mood. He wasn’t exactly the world’s best dancer either, so most of our dancing was simply us goofing off with each other and singing the lyrics we knew. Eventually the liquor filtered through his system and he got a lot smoother in his movements.
It was when Ashton began body rolling that a small circle formed in the dance floor around us with other club goers chanting and cheering his freestyle session on. I giggled when he looked around and realized what was happening before setting his eyes on me. He did a dramatic pause and cracked an imaginary whip, making said cracking sound with his mouth. He then whipped the imaginary rope around me, tightening the knot with both hands and started his gradual pull. When the crowd saw I wasn’t shifting with his faux lasso, a few girls behind me gently pushed me towards him. The crowd got louder as we got closer and the drop in the song was approaching. Ashton “released” his lasso and spun me twice into his arms before creating a picture-perfect moment and dipping me at the bass drop of the song, causing the crowd to cheer and applaud.
We fell into a fit of laughter while the crowd went back to their own dancing. He pulled me upright slowly so I wouldn’t get too dizzy. As our giggles faded, our smiles remained as we recognized how close we were in proximity. The DJ switched the song to a slower, more promiscuous one. Ashton brushed the remaining strands of hair out of my face and my breath hitched when he brushed his thumb over my bottom lip. I took his hands in mine and slid them down to my hips, both of us swaying and grinding softly to the music. I turned around so his front was pressed against my backside like a second skin. He kept his hands lightly roaming on my sides and thighs, rolling his hips against me while I pushed my ass on him as rhythmically as I could. My head lulled to rest on his shoulder, allowing me to feel how quickly his pulse had gotten from our actions. We continued like that, occasionally altering the pace, until the song ended. We faced each other with flushed cheeks, still close in each other’s arms.
“Do you want to get out of here?” He exhaled.
“Oh my god,” I moaned while throwing my head back.
“Fuck, I know,” Ashton groaned equally satisfied.
The McDonald’s cashier behind the counter judgmentally stared at both of us individually going through our second Big Macs.
“It’s even better than the first one!” He shouted with a mouthful.
I gasped and set my burger down to take the bun off and add French fries into it. When I replaced the bun and took a bite, I nearly melted in my seat. “This is the best night ever,” I said taking a sip of my chocolate milkshake.
“I told you!” Ashton victoriously yelled dipping fries into his shake.
And laughed at his boasting and waved away the few other drunks in the restaurant to high five him.
“I’m now your favorite barkeep and newly officiated birthday buddy,” he smiled. “And why do you keep laughing,” he said giggling himself.
“Because you have really deep dimples so your smile is super cute okay! I mean look at you,” I whisper shouted touching his face. “It’s like you’re sculpted to be perfect,” I commented lowly making him blush further.
“It takes perfection to know it,” he attempted to compliment me back, but the moment was stolen by me laughing at the fact that he was trying to bring his straw to his mouth with his tongue and failing miserably.
“Dammit, I’m trying to say you’re beautiful and I’m fucking it up,” he laughed and covered his face.
I removed his hands from his face and kissed his cheek, making his laughter falter.
“Thank you for tonight,” I smiled.
He smiled back and wrapped me into a side hug, “Right back at ya, birthday princess.”