James called a toast; Kantos briefs them on tonight's itinerary, he sounds like a politician running for office, he walks the middle of a circle reinforcing the agenda for tonight,
"Its all about customer service making our club the talk of this town. Yes, I say 'our' because we are in this together. I can't run this place by myself, none of us succeed unless this club runs smooth.
He turns to the waitresses and bartenders, "We have top notch security, if you run into an asshole be discreet, talk in your Bluetooth we'll be there in seconds to back you up. You're here because you are the best don't forget that.
Again, if you run into any problems or are confused about anything don't hesitate to ask no matter how big or small. Let's make this place a hit."
Rory and his security team return to their positions; Kantos calls out, "Open the gates."
James intercedes, "No. Wait. I'll do it." He wants to be the first to flip the lock and turn the knob,
Elle and company are sitting at a table in posh surroundings when Angela approaches with her last drink in hand, they've been dancing in the highest of heels all night, the drinks have been flowing and yes the princess wish was granted, lots of hot men. Angela's method of partying has always been a ratio of two to one. For every drink, a glass of water, a virgin drink then wait a half hour before another. Its never fails ... no hangover.
She's gotta give Elle props she picked a winner but they've been out four hours now and Angela is almost ready to call it a quits. But Elle isn't ready to throw in the towel, she insists on a last group dance some lame tradition they started in college their old asses can't let go. She drags them on the dance floor when suddenly.
We are lovers true and through and through
We made it through the storm
I really want you to realize
I really want to put you on
I've been searchin' for someone
To satisfy my every need
Hearing the first beats Angie knew what song was about to play, she's ready, hands goes up waving over her head, hips and fingers poppin, singing along, thoroughly, getting her groove on. James watches her reaction, slowly approaches the dance floor stunned, mesmorized, he can't believe his eyes. Its like he's tippy toeing through a field of land mines, he's looking at her like a blind man seeing the sun for the first time.
"Oh, this is the shit."
"Damn, did I just say that?" Angela asks. I must be drunker than I thought, haven't heard that expression since the 90's back in high school. Her crew's eyes are directed behind her with a strange expression.
Melanie says, "No, he did."
She turns quickly. There standing before her with a hand held out, "May I have this dance?"
"J..Jamie?" She's peering at him with her head ducked down trying to focus.
He doesn't answer because he can no longer find a voice, he pulls her in his arms and starts slow dancing. Her breast suffering against his chest he's holding on so tightly. He manages to clear is throat again chokes out a barely audible raspy whisper in her ear.
"Angie ..... Angela Valdes."
Melanie, Rio and Elle are watching with that same befuddled expression; they're swaying to the music oblivious to all that surrounds them, as if in their own private world. His hand roams down her back her face cuddled in the crook of his neck, eyes closed. The song finishes but they stay locked in that embrace, he nuzzles her hair inhaling its scent as if he's on life support, people are moving about them off the dance floor but he doesn't release her.
"Who is he?" Rio asks. "Some boyfriend she's hiding that we don't know about?"
"Damn he's so fine, I bet in the midnight hour he'd make a woman scream God's name." Melanie adds.
It finally dawns on Elle this is no stranger dancing with Angela of course she couldn't possibly recognize him from pictures of her best friend's high school days so long ago. But to look at them now is something special...she knows exactly who he is and their story.
"That's James St. Patrick."
He recoups but still standing thisclose, "How long has it been?"
"Its coming up on eighteen years."
Look at her, none of those glittery pointy plastic nails and lashes, no extensions, just Angie the same way she was, none of that phony flash. Hell her father wouldn't let her, he was a tough old crow.
"You look the same."
She waves her hand in front of his eyes, "Then you need your eyes checked out." She laughs, "I'm still round the way girl."
"Nah, I see you in that dress just fine."
"You're not corner boy now." She looks him up and down suited up so perfectly cut on a chiseled body it looks painted on him. He's so well dressed it hurts her eyes.
He laughs, "I want to know everything, what have you been doing? Are you OK?"
"Well there's no short answer, after Choate, law school, job. She nods her head, "Yeah, I'm doing Ok...what about you? What have you been up to all these years?"
Before he answers Rory comes up, "Boss we've got a situation with the lighting."
Angie gasps, "Jamie, he said, he called you boss?"
"Yep, that's because I own this place."
"Umm hum," I have a partna."
"OK I get it Uptown, you have a club to run, its been great seeing you again," She snaps her fingers, "Damn if only I'd known, we wouldn't have had to push our way in... Remember that? When we went to parties sometimes we'd stand in line waiting so we could BS our way in."
He laughs, "Hey, we were masters at that, we made a good tag team, yeah, I'd never forget." He remembers well rain, shine, sleet, snow her standing outside waiting with the poor corner boy, for years she stood right by him in line like he was a king ... the thought of her doing that tonight to get in his club bothers him.
"Listen, you never have to push in here again," speaking into his lapel, "Rory, you see the lady I'm with put her on our VIP roster, she and her party have complete carte blanche. Her name is Angie....Angela Valdes."
"Wow. Seriously?" She wants to talk longer but he has to go. She moves in to hug him, "Thank you for doing that for us, my crew will be impressed."
They laugh again like school kids, "Its so good seeing you." She clears her throat, "Ahem, Uptown." Same ole Jamie, still smells so good.
He lingers in her embrace longer than necessary then clasps her fingers tightly reluctant to let go,
"Bye for now."