Emotionless Pt. 02

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They got to the parking lot and parted ways to their vehicles. Lauren got in her jeep and waited until she saw Jessica pull out of the lot in her car. She checked her phone. She had a text from Matt telling her there was a work meeting before the club opened. She hadn’t been to the last 5 so she figured she’d go to this one. She looked at the time. 2:00 PM. She only had a few hours until the meeting, she saw her other text and opened it. “Hey what are you doing?” it was her friend from the club, another bartender named Jennifer.

Lauren replied “Not much. What about you?” as she drove out of the parking lot. She decided to head home and fix something to eat. She was in such a rush this morning she didn’t eat breakfast and didn’t think to get anything while she was at the cafe during the break. While at a red light, Jennifer texted her back “Just cleaning up around the house. Are you going to the meeting before work today?”

Hearing her text message ding as she took off from the light, she responded “Yeah might as well, don’t want Matt blowing another gasket like he did when I didn’t go to the meeting last month.”

Jennifer’s responses became quicker “Lol, yeah better not push your luck. Want to come over and hang out before the meeting?”

“Sure, I have to make a quick stop and I’ll be over there.” Lauren texted. She wanted to go home and put clothes on more suitable for work, not to mention brush her teeth one more time. She was back at her apartment in no time. She went inside and headed for the bathroom as she undid her tie. As she brushed her teeth she took her shirt off and tossed it with her clothes from the night before. Afterwards she went into the bedroom to grab a shirt. She figured she’d just wear her khakis she already had on as she threw on a plain white v-neck shirt. She ran her fingers through her hair as she walked out the door to her jeep. She texted Jennifer “On the way now.”

Lauren was at Jennifer’s place in 15 minutes. She knocked on the door but she could hear Jennifer’s TV blaring and knew Jennifer didn’t hear her. So she tried the doorknob, just as Lauren figured, not locked. She went to find Jennifer in the kitchen dancing and doing the dishes. Lauren shook her head and gave her crooked smirk as she knocked on the wall loud enough there was no way Jennifer couldn’t have heard. Jennifer jumped as she turned around. “Damn it Tripp, did anyone ever teach you to knock?”

“I did knock, just now.” Lauren put her keys in her pocket, still smirking. “But really, I did knock and you didn’t hear. Plus you never lock your door. I could be a burglar ya know.”

“Pfft, if you were a burglar, breaking into this house, you’d be one broke thief.” Jennifer laughed, washing her hands. “You want anything to eat or drink?”

Lauren forgot to grab something to eat at her apartment. She just realized again how hungry she was “Actually yeah, you got something to eat?”

Jennifer searched her fridge, “I have some leftover pizza, lasagna that my mom made, or a sandwich.”

“I’ll take the lasagna.” Lauren stretched before sitting at the table.

Jennifer heated up a plate for both of them. She set the plates on the table, then grabbed a beer for each of them before sitting down herself.

“Thanks” Lauren said as she ate. The food was great. It took her a matter of seconds to finish it. She took a big sip of her beer. She took her plate to the sink to rinse it.

“Jeez, you act like haven’t eaten in days.” Jennifer joked.

Lauren tried to think of the last time she had eaten. She thought she ate yesterday when she woke up. “The food was just so good, I didn’t want to risk it being stolen when that burglar comes.” She joked back. Jennifer laughed and rolled her eyes as she took another bite. When Jennifer was done eating the two of them finished the kitchen together. They each grabbed another beer before going to sit in the living room. Jennifer turned her TV to the news, but of course it was a commercial. They sat there watching TV for a few minutes when the news actually came back on. The reporter began talking about a trial that had been going on for a few months now. Something about foster parents who abused, tortured, and raped their foster children. The reporter gave brief statements about the trial that went on this morning but never mentioned names. Jennifer sipped her beer then commented “It’s sad what those kids went through. I couldn’t imagine going through that. Could you?”

Lauren just shrugged her shoulders, taking another drink from her beer. She hadn’t told anyone that she had been called upon as a witness for the trial and she most certainly didn’t tell anyone what Jessica and her had been through. She was thankful that both sides and their lawyers agreed to keep names out of the hands of the media. Lauren hated being pitied. She worked very hard for the things she had, she didn’t want anyone feeling sorry for her and giving her hand outs. She looked at the clock, only an hour until the meeting. amsterdam shemale “I better start getting ready for work.” Jennifer took their empty beer bottles to the trash. Lauren kept watching the news, she heard the shower turn on followed by the closing of the curtains. She leaned back into the couch and shut her eyes.

“Tripp wake up. Come on. I’ve been yelling for you to grab me a towel for like 5 minutes.” Jennifer stood in front of her, shaking Lauren’s shoulder, naked.

Lauren shook her head, trying to wake up. She didn’t remember falling asleep or even feeling all that tired. Her eyes focused on Jennifer’s body. “Sorry, I just shut my eyes for a second.” Lauren sat up.

“Yeah, yeah. You need to take better care of yourself. Scarfing down food, falling asleep in the middle of the day. Go clean yourself up.” Jennifer turned and walked towards her room, walking with extra pep in her step, knowing Lauren was watching her bare ass. Lauren wiped her hand across her face. It wasn’t the first time she had seen Jennifer naked. In fact, when Lauren first started at the club they started dating. They both agreed it would be better they were friends. After all, Lauren was always a better friend than girlfriend. Lauren went to the bathroom and washed her face with some water. She wet her hair and used some gel she found in Jennifer’s cabinet, she casually ran her fingers through her. She perfected her messy look and rinsed her mouth out with water. Jennifer came in the room as Lauren was finishing up. Jennifer put her hand on Lauren’s hip so she could reach over around her for her tooth brush. Lauren moved her hips towards the sink, where she leaned. She stood up straight and turned around facing Jennifer. “What time is it?”

“Almost 5:30.” Jennifer mumbled, trying to brush her teeth

“How much longer until you are ready?” Lauren moved out of Jennifer’s way.

“About 10 minutes.”

“We can ride together if you want. I’ll drive.”

Jennifer nodded, spitting toothpaste into the sink. Lauren went to the kitchen to fix herself some water. She looked outside, raining, the club will probably be slow. She turned off the TV and waited for Jennifer. When Jennifer was finally ready they got in the jeep. They were a few minutes late thanks to the rain and traffic. They walked up to the VIP section where the meeting was. Matt was going on and on about letting the bouncers do their jobs, don’t actually drink when customers buy you shots, and no giving free alcohol. Jennifer sat down, Lauren followed suit and slumped into a chair. “Oh how nice of you to show up Tripp. This is your first meeting in what? Oh right since you started working here. Better late than never I guess.” Matt grumbled.

“Sorry, got caught up in the rain.” Lauren was normally a smartass to Matt, but she was tired and didn’t feel like arguing. She just wanted to get through this night. Matt ignored her comment and continued with his pointless meeting. Half an hour later they were sent to their stations to clean up before opening. Lauren and Jennifer headed to the main bar. They started cleaning the mixers and glasses while a barback started mopping around them. “Hey Tripp what beers or bottles do you need up here? I’ll bring them up in a bit.” the barback asked. Lauren took a quick glance at the cooler and back rack.

“Case of Bud, Corona, Shock Top, Stella. Maybe some Jack, Crowne, Grey Goose, and Sailor Jerrys. The Spiced Rum. Thanks.” Lauren took the tops off some of the more popular mixes and alcohol bottles, putting on the pouring tops. She got out a few mixer cups and shot glasses. She looked over at Jennifer who was almost done with her side. Lauren took two of the shot glasses and filled them with some Jagermeister. She handed one to Jennifer. “To a quick night.” Lauren tapped Jennifer’s glass, then the bar, then gulped the shot down. Jennifer did the same. It was a tradition for them before each night got started. They had a few more minutes before people would start coming in. Lauren saw the DJ start up the music. Matt was in the process of hiring a new DJ, because the old one was selling heroin in the club. There were a lot of things that Lauren didn’t like about Matt, but one thing Lauren did respect about him was that when he found out there was drugs running through his club, he shut the operation down quick.

This was the first female DJ that ever came to try out for the spot. She looked up from her system and smiled at Lauren. Lauren couldn’t help but smile back. Jennifer gave Lauren a nudge “Uhoh, another target for Tripp.” she said mockingly.

“What? No. It was just a friendly smile.” Lauren smiled at Jennifer.

“Sure. Everyone who knows you, knows exactly what that little smile of yours means.”

“Oh really? What does it mean then?”

“Means you will have a new edition to your list soon.”

The club had opened and a man had just came up to the bar. “Jack and Coke. Start a tab for Singer.” the man handed his rotterdam shemale card to Lauren. Lauren took it and rang it up on the computer behind her. She made his drink and handed it to him. He walked off to a table across the club. Lauren had dealt with many guys like him. Middle-class, married, older guy who is tired of his wife and kids. Here at the club to get laid by some young college girl. He has to get here early so he can get drunk enough to have some courage to even approach the girl he hopes to go home with. Lauren has seen it time and time again, it usually ends with the bouncers escorting him out.

Lauren glanced at the DJ again as the bar started to fill up. She couldn’t help but look at her, something about her caught Lauren’s attention. She went back to working, mixing drinks and passing them out. There was a pretty steady flow of drink orders being made, but it was still slow compared to a normal night. Jennifer was mixing away next to Lauren. Jennifer was a good bartender, she had Lauren to thank for that. Lauren was fast, could multitask, and made the best damn drinks. Everyone knew she was the best bartender at the club and she taught Jennifer everything she knew. Lauren watched Jennifer as they mixed drinks almost in sync. Lauren was proud that Jennifer took to real bartending so well.

Before Lauren started working at the club it almost went out of business. However, Lauren used to be a regular there. She hated the cheap alcohol but loved the quiet atmosphere. Plus it was a good way to wind down the night after going to the bigger clubs in town. She could drink there without worrying about all the women eyeing her like a piece of meat. One drunken night Lauren told Matt how his club was shit and she could do a better job bartending by herself. So Matt told her to tend the bar by herself the rest of the night and he would start spending more on better alcohol and get a new staff. Feeling invincible from all the Sailor Jerry’s in her system, Lauren took the bet. Little did she know, Lauren was securing herself a job. After the night was over Lauren made around $200 in tips. Matt told her that was the most the entire club had made in months. He offered her a job, she would be lead bartender. She could train which bartenders she wanted and tell him to fire the ones she didn’t. Lauren took the job, she was tired of sleeping on her sister’s couch, she thought she’d be able to save up enough to get her an apartment and maybe a new car. It took her a week to decide the only staff member there that could be trained was Jennifer. So the next day Matt hired a new staff, keeping Jennifer. Since then, the club has become bigger than any other nightclub in the city.

Lauren was closing out some couples’ tab when a customer said in a familiar voice “vodka and redbull please.”

Lauren handed the husband his receipt and credit card when she saw Harper standing there smiling, ear to ear. Last night’s fight and the conversation she had with this girl all came back to her, she gave a smile. “Grey Goose, Rain, Skyy, House?” Lauren took the husband’s receipt and ran the tip in the computer before putting it in the drawer.

“Dealer’s choice.” Harper chimed.

Lauren made Harper’s drink “This one’s on the house.”

“Thanks. Do you get a break?”

Lauren looked at her watch. “I can take one in about an hour, meet me out back then?”

Harper nodded as she took a sip from her drink. She walked off to sit with her friend. Lauren remembered what Jessica and Linda told her this afternoon. She couldn’t do anything with this girl until after the trial. Even talking to her put everything done today at risk. But it wouldn’t be Lauren if she didn’t do things that could screw things up. She looked up at the DJ, but nobody said she was off limits she thought. She looked back to where Harper went, it was now a group of guys sitting there. Lauren looked around, she didn’t see Harper. She went back to work, not thinking anything of it.

Another hour flew by, Lauren told Jennifer she was going to take a quick break. She quickly headed for the backdoor. There was nobody out there. Lauren leaned against the wall and sighed. She knew she shouldn’t have went out there. She looked at her phone. She had a text from Jessica “Not going to make it tonight. See you tomorrow. Don’t be late!! Love ya.”

“See you tomorrow. Love you too.” Lauren replied then put her phone back in her pocket.

“There you are.” somebody slurred as the door shut.

Lauren saw Harper stumble. Lauren quickly grabbed her and helped her sit down on an empty crate. “I told you I’d meet you out here.”

“Very true.” Harper mumbled with her head on her hands.

“What are you doing here talking to me? You know this is illegal right? I can get in trouble for talking to you.”

“What, a girl can’t go out on a Monday night with her friends to a club?” she drunkenly said.

“Out of all the clubs in this city, you come to the one you know a bartender blog shemale is a major witness in a case you are a juror for?” Lauren said getting angry.

“I’m sorry. I just saw you last night and today at the courthouse. I wanted to talk to you. Tell you I’m sorry for what you have been through.” Harper looked up at her.

“I don’t need your pity. How much have you had to drink? I only made you one.” Lauren said trying to calm down.

“Some guys tried talking to me and my friend. After the bouncer made them leave, we went to the back bar. I’ve had maybe two or three drinks.”

“Look I don’t want either of us to get in trouble for talking while the trial is still technically going. Here’s my number. You call me after everything is done. Let’s find your friends.” Lauren saved her number in Harper’s phone then wrapped Harper’s arm around her shoulders and lifted her up. They walked through the door. “Do you see your friend anywhere?”

Harper pointed at a wall. Lauren sighed and took a quick look around. She walked back to the main bar and sat Harper down on a stool. She shouted out over the music “Hey Jennifer did you see who she came in with?” she pointed at Harper who was now slouching out of the stool. Jennifer shook her head. “Damn it.” Lauren tried sit Harper back up. Lauren went over to the bouncer at the front door. “Hey, the girl over there slouched over at the bar, did you see who she came in with?”

“No. Why? Do I need to throw her out or call her a cab?” the bouncer said, still checking I.D.s.

“No, it’s okay. Where’s Matt?” she could feel herself getting angry again.

“VIP section I think. Taking surveys of whether the DJ should stay or not.”

“Thanks Mike.” Lauren headed back to the main bar. “Harper did you drive here or did your friends?” Lauren whispered in her ear.

Harper reached in her pocket and handed Lauren keys. Lauren took them and went to talk to Jennifer “Jenn, I can’t find this girl’s friends but she drove I have her keys. Can you hold down the bar yourself? You can take my jeep home.”

Jennifer didn’t bother looking at Lauren “Yeah we are slow. I don’t mind. Go get you some.” She winked at Lauren.

“It’s not like that Jenn. I just can’t have her passed out on the bar and we both know how the bouncers are.” Lauren slipped her keys in Jennifer’s pocket and kissed her on the cheek. “Thanks.”

Lauren tipped herself out, shoving the cash in her pocket, then headed for the door with Harper leaning on her again. Mike held the door for them. Nobody ever questioned Lauren when she left early. Even Matt had given up on yelling at her for it. It’s not like she left when they were busy anyways. “Which car is yours Harper?” Lauren tapped her on the shoulder.

Harper managed to mumble “Altima.”

Lucky for Lauren there were only two Altimas in the parking lot. Lauren hit the lock button on the keypad twice, looking for which one’s lights came on. Lauren walked over to the black Altima and put Harper in the passenger seat, buckling her up. Lauren went to the driver side and got in.

“Where do you live? I’ll take you home.” There was no reply. Lauren looked over at Harper, she was passed out. “Guess I’ll take you to my place.” Lauren sighed quietly. She hoped nobody would find out how they knew each other, otherwise they’d both be screwed. She drove them to her apartment. Lauren got Harper into her apartment and into bed. She put ibuprofen and a Gatorade on the bedside table. She looked at the clock “2:00 AM”. Lauren rubbed her eyes. She didn’t know what time Harper had to be at the courthouse so she figured she’d set her alarm for 7 so she could get ready and they could get there early. Lauren went to the living room. She set the alarm on her phone, took off her shoes and pants, then laid on the couch. She quickly fell asleep.

She woke up a few hours later to the sound of her alarm. She reached for her phone, turning the music off, then stretching out before getting up. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes. Lauren quietly opened the door to the room. Harper was still asleep, but the Gatorade looked like it had been drunk. Lauren made her way to the closet to get some clothes. With her clothes in hand, she tried to make it out of the room to the bathroom without making a noise. She put her clothes on the toilet and got undressed. She looked over at the clothes basket, it was time for her to do laundry. She stepped into the warm shower and let it run over her, covering her tall, thin, muscular body. She slicked her hair back out of her face.

Finished showering, she realized she didn’t have a towel. She left hers from last night in the bedroom. “Damn it.” She hoped Harper was still sleeping. She left her clean towels in the hall closet, so she wouldn’t have to go back into the room to get one. She listened carefully to see if she could hear Harper moving throughout the apartment, it was silent. She stepped out of the shower and opened the door. She walked to the closet, so far so good. As she reached for the towel she heard a gasp. Lauren quickly wrapped the towel around her body and shut the door. She looked at Harper who was standing in the bedroom doorway with her mouth wide open staring at Lauren’s body.

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