Mr. Dark

By: Lauren Landish

Chapter 1

Sophie

"Come on Sophie, you've been cooped up in your apartment for weeks now."

The needling voice in my ear belonged to Tabby Williams, my best friend. A relentless man chaser, she lived by the motto YOLO. Five foot five, a hundred and fifteen pounds, with auburn red hair and blue eyes, she could pretty much seduce any man she wanted.

How the two of us became friends is a mystery that really had a lot to do with luck more than anything else. Coming into a new city from high school, the two of us had been put together in the freshman dorms by pure random assignment of the computer. I had been sitting at my desk, trying to set up my computer when Tabby walked in, two jocks already following her, carrying some of her bags.

There should have been no reason for the two of us to hit it off as friends, but we did. When my 'freshman fifteen' ballooned into my 'freshman forty five,' it was Tabby who not only made sure that the idiots around campus didn't give me any crap, but also helped me work my way back down.

"It's all my fault anyway," she told me over and over again during my sophomore and junior years, "I'm the one who kept ordering the bargain double large pizzas and then only eating three slices."

You can see how it went. By the end of junior year, we were officially known among our social group as The Odd Couple, and did everything together. It was Tabby who convinced me to get a tattoo on my shoulder during senior year, and it was I who convinced Tabby not to just jump into marriage with Ted Bickerstaff, the frat boy she'd been dating who saw her more for her tight ass and perky tits than the young woman I called my friend.

"You came to college to get your MA, not your M-R-S," I told her. When Ted got caught cheating on his senior thesis and kicked out, she thanked me by taking me to the Bahamas for Spring Vacation.

Unfortunately, graduation caused us to drift apart some. Tabby went immediately to work on her MBA, while I had to pick up two jobs, one as an unpaid intern in a local emergency room as a way to get my foot in the door with the local healthcare providers, and another tending bar at a local Irish tavern. I didn't blame Tabby, her folks were able to pay for it, mine couldn't. But over the past two years, we'd gone from seeing each other every day to maybe three or four times a month.

Tonight was one of my few nights off, and I had originally planned to spend it doing some long overlooked cleaning of my apartment, and then crash. I had an early double shift at the ER the next morning, running files, doing admin stuff, and avoiding Dr. Green staring at my ass. He's a creepy bastard, plain and simple. When Tabby called at six thirty, I knew my plans were going out the window.

"Tabby, I've got a seven in the morning start down at the ER tomorrow," I said to her, trying to get out of it, not that it ever worked. "Seriously, can't we put this off until Saturday?"

"Are you kidding? DJ Manik is only in town through tonight. He's one of the best, and I was able to score tickets for three of us. So I invited you and Kelly. You know you two had fun the last time you went out with us. Besides, name the last time you had a Saturday night off. You're either slinging drinks down at the tavern, or down in the ER treating the same idiots you would have been serving any other night."

"I know, but you know what's going to happen. You're going to get drunk, Kelly's going to get picked up by at least two men, and possibly go home with both, and where does that leave me? Catching a cab home after midnight and maybe putting you to bed? You've got a strange idea of what to do on a Wednesday night."

Chapter 2

Sophie

Three hours later, I could hear my words running through my head. After picking me up, and then spending twenty minutes harassing me to change into something sexier, Tabby, Kelly and I went to the club. I had to admit though, the DJ was pretty good. I'm not normally into remixed hip hop, but this guy was good, putting enough house beats into it that I thought it was pretty damn decent.

Still, as soon as we were in, both girls had drinks in their hands and men orbiting them like they had gravity wells or something. As the third wheel, I soon found myself alone at the bar, while Tabby and Kelly worked the dance floor. I looked on enviously as they had two super hot guys each, teasing and grinding until I was sure the guys were about ready to blow a load in their pants. The night was going exactly as I thought it'd go.

Sighing, I took my club soda and headed upstairs. The music was a bit quieter up there, and I could at least think for a moment. Looking down on the dance floor, I considered my options. It was kind of like those old Tom & Jerry cartoons I watched as a kid, when the devil would pop up on one shoulder while the angel popped up on the other. On one hand, I could go down to the floor and get myself my own guy. I mean, I'm nowhere near as hot as Tabby, but I considered myself at least average.

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