Chapter 1 : Prologue
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“Hey, Billie, are you ready for... whoa, what the fuck?”
Ah, the dulcet tones of my one and only older brother. Hello Scott, nice to see you, too, but please kindly fuck off so I can get this stupid mascara on without poking myself in the eye.
“Billie,” he said, now leaning against the doorway of the doorway of my bedroom. My bedroom which was currently covered in dresses, skirts, belts, heels and a bowling pin.
Don’t ask me how the bowling pin got in my room. It involves a muggle bowling alley, a broken wand and my favourite pair of black leggings.
Eh, who am I kidding. The story, like most others in my life, involves a shitload of firewhiskey and a lot of drunken stumbling. Kind of like what is going to happen tonight if my brother would leave me alone so I could finish getting ready and get the hell out of here. This week has been nothing but drama, drama, drama and I need a night out to forget about it all.
I looked at my brother who was glaring at me, his arms folded and rolled my eyes.
“What do you want?” I asked, now carefully lining my lips a dark red. ‘Hooker red’ as my friend Andree, calls it. I don’t really care what it’s called but, hey, if this little tube of magic can get me into the arms of a well built guy for a night, then I’ll take it.
Even if lipstick does taste like absolute shit.
Scott took a few steps in my room and stared me at for a few seconds, trying to get me to look at him. I ignored him as I looked in the mirror, smacked my lips a few times and ran my fingers roughly through my hair before taking a step back and scrutinising my reflection.
Short, tight, black dress. Four-inch heels. Bed hair. Hooker lips.
Hell to the fucking yes, I looked hot.
“We spoke about this,” Scott said as I grabbed my bag and looped the long strap of it across my body.
I stepped into the hallway and he followed me as I walked down the hall to the closet near the front door, ignoring him as he continued to talk.
“Come on, you said that you would stop going out. You told Kat that you would meet her for breakfast tomorrow and with the wedding coming up, I know she... Billie... Billie... Billie!” he shouted, grabbing my arm as I continue to ignore him. “Are you even listening to me?”
I shook his arm off, pulled out a jacket out of the closet and shrugged it on, looping the belt through the belt-holes and looked up at Scott’s angry face.
“Nope,” I said.
He sighed and closed his eyes briefly before shaking his head at me.
“You’re better than this,” he began and I rolled my eyes.
“Not this again,” I said, shutting the door of the closet behind me.
Scott let out a noise of frustration and shook his head at me once more.
“How long is this going to go on? Hmm? You spend night after night out doing God knows what, you’re never home and I don’t know half the time where the hell you are,” Scott said, his voice rising.
Awww, how cute. Older brotherly concern. I would almost care if he didn’t say the same shit every time I go out. I mean, come on. I’m a twenty-five year old girl who just wants to go out and have some fun after a long week at a job that I hate. Is that such a bad thing?
What exactly does he want me to do? Sit at home and knit tea cosies while telling me stories to my twenty cats?
I grabbed my keys and opened the front door, intent on getting out of this house as soon as I could.
“He wouldn’t want this for you,” Scott said, his voice soft.
I stopped suddenly, frozen, as an ice-cold pain crept over my heart and unwanted tears burned the back of my eyes and threatened to spill onto my cheeks.
I clenched my jaw in anger and resisted the temptation to scream at Scott. Who the hell did he think he was? He had no right, absolutely no right to say that, especially after he knew what next week was and what it did to me.
I didn’t need this. Not from him. Not from Scott, the one person who was there to pick me up when my world fell apart.
I spun around, glared at my brother. His expression was pained as if he knew he had gone too far but there was a steely determination in his dark brown eyes, so like my own.
His mouth opened once more but I didn’t wait to hear it. Instead, I slammed the door in his face before hurrying down the front steps to the apparition point in the frontyard.
Boy did that feel good.
I ignored the leers and lewd comments thrown my way as I pushed through the crowd of people. I had one goal and one goal only. Get to the bar as fast as I can and numb away the pain. Sure, I had my eyes open and had already checked out most of the guys in the room, but I first needed to get some alcohol in me so I could forget about the world, all the shit in my life and especially what my stupid prat of an older brother had said to me as I left the house.
I reached the bar and the bartender, Joey, grinned his usual cheeky grin at me.
“Hey, doll. Been a while since you’ve been here,” he said, his eyes twinkling at me.
I couldn’t help but grin back at him. In reality, it had only been a week since I had last been at The Hot Cauldron. The place was the perfect place for a night out. It was usually full to the brim with people all looking for a good night out and loud, thumping beats could be heard in every corner from the magically enhanced speakers.
It was dark, full of sweaty people pressed up against each other, grinding away to the music or clambering over themselves to get to the bar for a drink.
I fucking loved it.
“Your usual?” Joey asked, yelling to be heard over the loud music.
“Make it a double,” I yelled back.
Yes, it was my first drink and I probably could slow down a bit, but fuck it. I needed this.
“Make it two,” a man said, stepping up next to me, his large hand throwing a few galleons down on the bar.
I looked up at the man and let my eyes run over his tall, lean body, his broad shoulders, his brown hair and the slight smirk on his face as he looked at me. Normally I would have been irritated at a man being so brazenly forward, but I didn’t care this time. This man was hot and, really, who was I to refuse such a generous gesture from an extremely good-looking person?
Thank you, there is a God.
Joey winked at me, mouthing ‘you go, girl’ and the man next to me laughed as Joey poured both our drinks before taking the next order from a couple of younger girls who batted their eyelashes at him coyly. I didn’t blame them. Joey might never be able to land a modelling contract, but there was something about the smooth way he worked his way around the bar, pouring and mixing drinks and moving his body to the music as he did so, that was incredibly alluring.
Too bad he was gay.
“I’m Billie,” I said, carefully flipping my hair over my shoulder. Come on, this guy was practically oozing sex. Can you blame a girl for wanting to try to show a little interest?
“James,” he said. “So, what’s a beautiful girl like yourself doing here by yourself?” he asked me, still smirking at me.
I shook my head a little at the overused line which would normally have me downing my shot and running as far as I could away from a man who used it on me, but this time, I couldn’t help but laugh. Seriously, the way his chest filled out his dress shirt should be made illegal. He could frankly do or say whatever he wanted and I wouldn’t have minded.
“I’m here for a good time,” I said, laughing. “What about you, what are you here for?”
His eyes twinkled at me as his smirk grew wider.
“A good time,” he said.
A/N: And there you go - a short first chapter, more of a prologue than anything else. Future chapters will be a lot longer, but this one just sets things up. Let me know what you think!
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