* 2: The Secret *
"You don't know how bad I want to kiss him right now." Christina said lightly as she served Maddie her second Pink Panther adorned with her favorite cherries.
"I can't believe you guys are still sneaking around. You two have been doing this for over a month!" she gasped as she quickly grabbed her cherry out of her drink.
"God, Maddie! Yell a little louder. I don't think Courtney heard you clearly." she retorted as she served someone else a beer.
"I can't believe she hasn't figured it out already."
"Well, Jace figures that if he looks like he is alone then she will leave him alone and thats the way he likes it."
Maddie grabbed another cherry from Christina and continued. "And, you don't think anything is going on between them that you don't know about?"
"You're on a roll today, ya know? Can you damper my spirits any more than they already are?" she sighed.
"Geez, sorry. Just being practical."
"Well, its bad enough that girls flock all over him while he's here and I can't do anything about it."
"You trust him, right?" Maddie sipped her drink.
Christina eyed JC on the lower level talking to yet another stranger. "I kinda have to. Especially on nights when he's like a magnet."
Maddie turned around on her chair. "Abbie Marx tonight?"
Christina huffed. "Last night it was Kelly James."
"I wouldn't worry about it. Courtney gets rid of them anyway." she added as she turned back around.
"And you wonder why we are keeping it a secret. If Courtney was constantly looking over our shoulder or always in my face I probably wouldn't be able to stay with JC." she continued as she made a mixed drink.
"She don't own him." Maddie slurred as she gave her glass to Christina for another.
"Sometimes I wonder." she paused to look at JC who quickly looked up at her. "Maddie, you are getting drunk. I'm not giving you another."
"C'mon, Chris. Please?" she smiled.
"See, you are calling me Chris. You know how much I hate that." she laughed.
"Ok, fine. Give me a soda or something." she half leaned over the bar.
"Are you that thirsty, Maddie?" she paused. "Here, eat a peanut." she shoved the bowl towards her.
"Uggh. You make me wanna puke." she grumbled.
"I'm glad to know I'm loved." Christina snickered.
"Ok, well give me something for the road."
"You better not be driving." Christina demanded like a mother.
"Nah, Jack is picking me up."
"Where is Jack anyway?" Christina asked as she cleaned some glasses.
"He's out with Kevin I think." she yawned.
"Too good to come here tonight?"
"He wanted some alone time if you know what I mean?" Maddie grinned as she played with a peanut shell.
"Uggh. No visuals please. Save me the details for some other time."
"No problem." she yawned again as the DJ stopped playing music for the night.
"Hey bitch! I wanna free drink!" a drunk guy yelled at the end of the bar.
"No! Go home!" Christina yelled back.
"I want one now!" he yelled loudly again, arousing JC's protective instinct from the lower level.
"I said no." she replied calmly. "Please leave."
"I don't think he's listening." Maddie said softly as he walked up to them.
"Let's make a deal, bitch." he mumbled. "You give me a free drink, I'll give you a free ride on my jock." he grinned as he grabbed her arm.
"Uggh, pig! Get away from me!" she exclaimed as she pulled her arm back and shoved him away.
"Bitch!" he cursed in his heavily drunken manner and threw his glass at her. It smashed against the rack behind her, sending the bottles crashing to the floor.
"Oh my God, Joey, be careful!" Maddie yelled to one of the regulars in the club as he tackled the drunk to the floor.
"Joey! Let him go, I got him!" JC shouted as he finally joined them with two bouncers in tow.
"Get the fuck off me!" the man continued to curse on the floor.
"I suggest you leave now or the bouncers are gonna kick you out on your ass!" JC compromised with anger.
"Only if the bitch comes with me!" he continued to be difficult.
"Escort him out please." JC looked to the bouncers behind him and then turned to Christina. "Are you okay?"
"Uh, I'm fine." she stopped when she noticed Courtney standing nearby. "Thanks Joey. I appreciate what you did."
"No problem. I'm here all the time anyway. If you need anything just let me know." he smiled.
"I will. Thanks." she smiled back.
"Well, everyone is just about out of here. I think it's time to close up." JC fixed his composure and turned away from the bar.
"I'm gonna stay and clean this up." Christina informed everyone.
"Yeah, I'm gonna get going too." Maddie jumped in. "Walk me out Joey?"
"Sure, lets go."
"Can you walk me out too JC?" Courtney asked from behind him.
JC looked to Christina as she looked back at him with a glare. "Ok."
A few minutes passed as Christina continued to clean the lost liquid on the floor. She heard the front door lock and noticed all the lights down on the floor go off. The only lights radiating from the bar gave the rest of the club an eerie overcast. The neon full moon light glowed above the bar giving them an atmosphere as if they were under the stars.
"Hey, we're alone." JC interrupted the silence.
"Are you sure she's gone?"
"Yeah, she was halfway drunk and practically falling asleep. She's in a hurry to hit the pillows." he snickered.
Christina stood back up from the floor and walked out from behind the bar for the first time in a couple hours. "Did you kiss her goodnight?"
"Chris." he sighed.
"Don't call me that." she snapped as she walked down to the darkened dance floor.
"Watch yourself. It's dark down there." he chased after her.
"I've already been verbally abused tonight. I don't think falling over a chair is going to make a difference." she said sarcastically as she grabbed her own set of keys and opened the office door.
"Christina!" he yelled a little louder from behind her as she reached the top of the stairs.
"I didn't kiss her, dammit!" he huffed.
Christina paused. "What was up with Abbie tonight? And, Kelly last night?"
"I'm not going to lie to you. Yes, they both like me. But, I told them that I'm not dating right now."
Christina sighed. "Well, if you could lie to them how do I know you won't lie to me?"
"Because baby," he used his hands on her face so that she would look at him. "I love you."
"You've never said that to me before." she started to nervously shake.
"Well I mean it. I love you Christina. I loved you since the first time you asked for this job. I love you more than anyone or anything." he confessed.
"Courtney?" she started to say but he stopped her.
"More than anyone." he put his finger up to her lips.
"I love you too, Jace, and I wanna show you how much." she smiled as she led him over to where his hammock hung in the corner of the room.
For the first time Christina showed JC exactly how much she loved him which ment more than words could say.
"It's Saturday night and I'm here again." Maddie mumbled as she sat down at her usual place at the bar.
"Are you getting sick of being here?" Christina asked as gathered her ingredients for Maddie's usual.
"Just need something else to do than sit at the bar and get drunk."
Christina snickered and looked up at her. "Panther, Maddie?"
"Nah, not tonight." she sighed.
"Are you okay?"
Maddie smiled. "Just give me a beer."
Christina looked at her strangely. "You don't drink beer."
"I know. But, I'm here early tonight. You give me three Panther's and I'm done for." she snickered.
"Well if you wouldn't suck them down like a shot you would enjoy it more." Christina replied sarcastically.
"Have you seen the drunk guy yet?" Maddie changed the subject.
"No. I don't want any drama tonight."
"Hey ladies." Jack announced as he walked up to them.
"Jack. Glad to see you could come around once." Christina grinned.
"Yeah, well you know, the queen has to make her grand entrance." he shrugged as he sat down beside Maddie.
"I didn't think you were coming tonight." Maddie jumped in.
Christina served him a martini as he continued. "Well, I heard that there was a band playing tonight. I'm in the mood to see some cute butts."
Christina snickered. "What about Kevin?"
"Honey, the more booty the better." he finished as he sipped his martini.
"Oh no, its the fag boy again." Courtney hissed behind him.
"Courtney, don't start your crap or I'm kicking your ass out of here." Christina replied with an attitude.
"Girl, you're lucky you pulled some strings around here to get the position you are in or I would so easily smack your shit up right now!" she yelled as she leaned up on the bar.
"You better get out of my face before I personally throw you out the door." she spit back.
"Bitch." she said under her breath as she walked away.
"Ya know, I might as well change my name to bitch since thats all I'm called lately." Christina shook her head as she slammed a glass down on the counter.
"Be careful with the hardware there woman." JC smiled as he walked up to her behind the bar and openly kissed her on the back of her neck.
Maddie and Jack nervously looked around to see if anyone was watching. "Uh, I feel like I'm missing something here." Maddie stated with a strange look on her face.
"That's cause you are." Christina smirked.
Maddie and Jack looked at both of them for a moment until everything sunk in. "You guys didn't?" Maddie said softly.
Christina and JC replied with only a smile.
"Aww, girl, you're slick." Jack grinned.
"Shh, Jack. Look, there are cute buns down on stage. Go check 'em out." Christina laughed.
"Hunny, I'm gone. Talk to you girls later." he jumped off the chair and quickly went down on the floor.
"Man, he's a trip." JC chuckled beside her.
"Yea, well, Courtney was here starting her crap already with him." she added as she grabbed a beer for him.
"Don't worry, I'll talk to her."
"You don't have to. I think she got the point when I was through with her." she smiled lightly.
JC took a chug of his beer. "Good girl."
"Yeah, I know."
"Hey guys, I'm gonna head down with Jack. I'll be back in a few." Maddie jumped in and quickly left.
"Hey, I might head home early tonight. Do you think you can close up?" JC said as soon as Maddie left.
"You're gonna let me close the club?"
"Yeah, why not. I think you can on your own now."
"Is there a reason why you are leaving early?" she questioned.
"Remember, I'm going up home early tomorrow. I don't want to be out late." he added as he walked back around the bar.
"Oh yea, I forgot."
"Meet me at my house later." he smirked as he walked away.
Christina gave him a quick smile as she continued mixing drinks for her customers.
"That was quick." Christina said to Maddie as she came bouncing up to the bar again.
"Well I finished my beer. I'm in the mood for a Panther now." she smiled.
"You need to take a break."
"Yeah, you're right, but so do you. Come to the girly room with me." she motioned for Christina to come with her.
Christina left her spot as another girl took over and followed Maddie down to the dance floor and over to the bathrooms.
"Wow. It's empty in here." Maddie said surprised as she quickly walked up to the mirror.
"It's early yet. I'm sure they'll be in here laying on the floor in about an hour." Christina snickered as the band started to play and it quickly became very loud in the club.
"So, now that you and Jace did the deed are ya gonna let everyone in on the secret?" Maddie asked as she reapplied her lipstick.
"I dunno yet. JC has to do something about Courtney. They havent been in a serious relationship for like three months and yet she doesn't get the hint. It's kind of working on my last nerve."
"Why is she so protective of him? I mean, if the person don't want you then just give it up, ya know?" Maddie agreed.
"She can be protective all she wants but she's not getting him or anyone else for that matter." she added as she fixed her hair.
"Well, I don't think anyone else like Abbie or Kelly is that persistent on getting him. But, I also don't think Courtney will give up that easy."
"Yeah well, she's no threat to me."
Maddie handed Christina her lipstick. "What if she does get him back?"
Christina paused and looked at Maddie with a serious look. "Yeah right. Over my dead body."
Outside the bathroom, Courtney closed the door lightly. She had heard everything that they said. The secret was now loose and she was going to do something about it.
* 3: Raindrops On Roses *