You entered the restaurant arm in arm with Emily, meeting Garcia in the lobby, her wide grin and neon shoes brightening the place up.
As the maitre de led you to your seats, you lagged behind.
“I’m here.” You set an alarm for twenty eight minutes later, giving yourself time to excuse yourself to go the bathroom if you needed to.
An immediate reply.
“Excellent. 19:33 will be the next check in. At dinner you’re drinking vodka martinis. You may have three in here. No more. Along with at least two glasses of water. For starter you’ll have Gorgonzala Mushrooms and your main will be Pollo Parmiggiano. If you have room for dessert, vanilla ice cream and the tiramisu. I know that Garcia is an instagram girl, I’ll be checking hers for photos of the food and drinks she’ll no doubt post.”
You chuckled under your breath. Penelope was indeed what you all jokingly referred to as an insta whore. Whenever there was a team night out, photos of food, drinks, and toilet selfies ended up being posted throughout the night. Luckily, her settings were private.
You slid into the booth next to Emily, placing your phone on the leather seat beside you, tucking it just enough under your leg so that you’d feel it vibrate.
A waiter came over within a minute of you sitting down.
“Would you ladies care to see the drinks menu or do you know what you’re having.”
Emily looked at Garcia. “Wine?”
“White wine, Pino Grigio please, two bottles.” Garcia agreed. This was your standard drinking game. White wine at the restaurant, followed by shots or cocktails where ever you ended up.
“Actually ladies, I’m not feeling wine tonight. Could I get a vodka martini please?”
“Of course. I’ll be back shortly with your drinks.” The waiter handed each of you a food menu which you pretended to look engrossed in.
“Martini, Y/N. You feeling a little shaken but not stirred?” Emily asked you.
“Oh she definitely needs a stirring,” Garcia laughed.
“Yep, it’s been a while since I’ve had a good stirring ladies… Speaking of which, Penny. When exactly are you and Derek gonna admit to each other that you’re secretly in love with each other?”
“Oh baby cakes, there’s nothing secret about our love.”
You played along with their banter, throwing comments backward and forwards until the waiter came back with your drinks. As predicted, Garcia pulled out her phone taking a photo, and seconds later you felt your phone vibrate with what you knew would be an instagram tag.
The waiter took your food order, you ordering exactly what Spencer had told you to and feeling a slight rush as you did so.
The conversation flowed between you three ladies as it always did, although you kept glancing at the silver wrist watch you had on. At 19:28, you made your excuses, and went to the bathroom.
Waiting until 19:33 exactly, you texted Spencer.
“Good good. I’m out for an early dinner with my mother too. Enjoying the martini?” He must have had his phone out and literally waiting for you to text as the reply was instant.
“It’s not what I’d normally drink but it’s enjoyable.”
“You seem to be finding that about a lot of things you wouldn’t normally do Y/N. 20:03 please.”
You reset your alarm for 20:01 and headed back to the table where your food had arrived. You tucked in, Emily and Garcia draining their first bottle of wine quickly and moving on to the second. They raised the bottle at you in offering, but you shook your head. You still hadn’t finished your first drink, although you were starting to feel slightly fuzzy already. It was super strong.
Eight pm came and you felt your phone vibrating, this time just casually picking it up and texting “checking in” before resetting the alarm for 20:30.
“Everything okay?” Emily asked.
“Just my sister,“ you told them, starting on the main course that had arrived and ordering another drink from a passing waiter, the girls asking for another bottle.
The night went on and you hit every one of your check ins until you got to the club.
Garcia had wanted to try a new bar that had opened and you missed your check in as you were stuck at the entrance desk, paying your cover. By the time you got to the toilets it was 11:07 and you had a message from Spencer.
You felt a surge of excitement.
“I was paying to get in to a club. Do I go from the new time now? Also… What am I drinking here? I’ve had the three martinis I was allowed.”
“New time. 11:37 for the next one. Buy the girls a round of tequila shots and then get yourself a beer to chase it down with. Any brand will do. You can have two more shots, but that’s it as I know the girls will try to buy you more, and two more beers. You’re to stay out no later than 1:30am.”
You left the bathroom, spotting the girls at the bar and making your way through the crowds to them.
“What you drinking?” Garcia asked you, shouting to be heard over the music.
“I’ll get these!” you yelled back, leaning over the bar to get the bartender’s attention.
“Three tequila slammers and three bottles of bud please.”
The bartender took you money and lined the shots up, limes and salt packets on a little dish to the side. As predicted Garcia took a photo, posting it to her instagram feed before you all knocked them back.
“Another round please bar keep!” Garcia instructed the bar tender, waving her money at him suggestively.
And so another round was had, you wincing at the sharp taste and the sudden buzz. Emily was just about to order round three when Penelope grabbed your wrists and tugged you over to the dance floor.
“This is my jam!”
Prentiss just looked at you and rolled her eyes slightly. When Penelope was drunk, every song was her jam. But still you went with it, bumping and grinding up against each other like college students rather than the late twenties/mid thirties that you all were.
One song merged into the next and between the tequila buzz and the pounding of the bass, you didn’t feel your phone vibrating signifying the next alarm. And when Emily dissappeared to the bar and came back with another round of shots, you were too distracted to feel the texts that were landing in your inbox.
A group of guys had started to inch closer to you on the dance floor, Garcia playfully flirting with them. When they actively started dancing behind you, you made your excuses and disappeared into the ladies, slamming one of the cubicles door shut and sitting down.
Pulling your phone out, you saw it was 12:48am.
What the fuck… How was it that time?
You had seven messages.
“That’s two strikes Y/N.”
“I expect an update in the next ten minutes or else it’s three. Unless there’s a good excuse.”
“If there’s no update in the next fifteen minutes, I’m doubling the amount.”
“Y/N, are you okay?”
The last one was sent three minutes ago and you quickly hit the call button, you didn’t trust yourself to text.
“I’m sorry,” you blurted out as soon as he answered.
“I was beginning to worry Y/N.”
“I know, I’m sorry. The music’s too loud and I couldn’t feel my phone.”
“You realise you have six strikes right now against you right?”
“I know,” you whispered, not daring to let your mind wonder how he would redeem those.
“For your sake I hope you don’t rack up too many more tonight. Unless of course, you’re actually wanting to be punished?”
Every inch of your body was screaming Yes Yes YES.
“Good. Although for my sake, I’m hoping you do rack up more. Having you naked in my apartment all evening and crawling around on all fours is definitely seeming like the next level of punishment for you.” His voice was cool, but breathy.
“I’d do that for you anyway….. ”
“Would you now?”
You leant your head against the side of the cubicle, right next to a Carly loves Dan graffiti love heart drawn in crude black marker. “Yes.”
“And have me paddle you from behind?”
“Fuuuck,“ you groaned into the mouth piece and you heard him laugh.
“Y/N?” You heard a yell. “You in here?”
“Shit. I gotta go. ”
“I heard, I’ll let you off the rest of the check ins. Text me when you’re home okay.”
“Okay.” You hung up and slipped your phone into your back, finishing up and flushing.
When you unlocked the cubicle, you saw Emily leaning against the sink.
“Who were you talking to?”
“Me?….erm… No one.” You started washing your hands quickly, not meeting her gaze.
“Bull shit.” She over pronounced both words carefully. “I heard you. And you dissappeared in here almost as soon as those guys started making serious moves towards you. Are you…. Are you seeing someone?”
“NO!” Too loud Y/N, too loud. Emily’s eyes narrowed.
“You are! What’s his name? Where did you meet him?”
“Erm…. He’s an old flame from college. We bumped into each other a few months ago and hit it off again. His name…. ” You racked your brain quickly. “Is Dan… Daniel.”
“Why didn’t you tell us?!”
“It’s erm…. early days yet. I didn’t want to make a big deal out of things.” You dried your hands on a paper towel, discarding it into the bin and suddenly feeling sleepy.
“Well let us know as soon as it becomes a big deal. I won’t say anything okay, I’m guessing you don’t want people to know otherwise you’d have said.”
“Thanks Em. Listen.. I think I’m gonna get out of here, I’m beat.”
“Me too. Let’s find Penny and go.”
Forty five minutes later and you were home, peeling off your clothes and changing, then crawling into bed having placed a bottle of water onto your night stand.
“Home.. Sleepy.” You texted Spencer, struggling to focus on your screen. You were too old to be drinking tequila shots. And those vodka martinis had been strong.
“It’s a shame your so sleepy Y/N. I was looking forward to directing a certain object into your underwear over the phone.”
As exciting as that sounded to you, you’d have probably passed out halfway through. And that was NOT sexy.
“Too tired… Another night.”
“I’ll hold you to that. Drink plenty of water and get some sleep then, Snow White.”
“You remind me of Snow White. In fact, you’re the physical embodiment of the written description of her. Skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood, and hair as black as ebony.”
This was true, a comparison that even you could see, although you wouldn’t quite go as far as the lips as red as blood.