House of Syn - Chapter 4
When Valen let herself back into her apartment and shut the door, she suddenly had a thought that stopped her in her tracks and gripped her heart with fear.
'He probably said he'd meet me there because it will be easier to ditch me. What if he doesn't show?' she wondered. 'Why would he want to go drinking with me, anyway? He doesn't know me, and I haven't exactly made the best impression...'
She had never been to this club before, and she didn't want to go alone if no one she knew was going to be there. She couldn't even call anyone to invite to go with her. Her best friend Judy was married and did not go out anymore. Her other close friend Melanie had a newborn baby with her deadbeat live-in boyfriend, so she didn't go out anymore. If Brian didn't show, there would be no one she knew there. Then again, she didn't really know Brian, either. She was trying to get to know him. But still, if he didn't come, she was going to have a hard time.
'Well, his friends work there, he will probably show if for no other reason than that. Unless...Unless he just wants me to go there so they can see me and laugh...' she thought, feeling disappointment set in.
Brian seemed nice, but there were plenty of times in talking to him where she suspected he was laughing more at her than with her.
She had been made fun of her whole life, a lot in high school and even some in college as well. Guys were openly mean to her for not being what they considered 'hot.' Girls were mean to her for being what they considered 'weird.' She had fallen prey to many plots constructed for the sheer purpose of people getting to laugh at her expense, and even though she was older now, it was hard to shake those past experiences. It was hard to know who to trust.
'Well, I won't be the one to bail,' she decided. 'Even if I am scared...or terrified...of going to a new place alone and possibly getting stood up, I would rather face that than flake on him when this was my idea anyway. So I will just have to be tough. Whatever happens tonight, I just have to decide now that I will be okay.'
After steeling herself with these thoughts, she went to change her shoes. She chose flat shoes - no prospect of falling. They were satin, though, and had red ribbon stitching. She then went online and looked up the address to the club. Then she went outside and hailed a cab.
When she got in the cab, she gave the driver the address, and they were off. She rode in silence, thinking bitterly about how that girl at the porn shop had made fun of her bat barettes. For spite, she put them back in. Whoever didn't like them could just fuck right off!
When the cab pulled up in front of the club, she had half a mind to tell him to turn around and take her home. It was big and glitzy, and everyone going in there was either model pretty, or the textbook definition of a hot goth girl. There were girls who looked like they could be in bands, or be pinup models. A lot of the girls had perfect vintage pinup style. She didn't even know how to get her hair into the proper pin rolls, or cut her bangs properly. These girls had the whole image down.
"Is this the place, ma'am?" the driver asked, wondering why she wasn't getting out.
She had to make her decision. It was now or never.
She looked at the club.
'What if I could really be a part of this world?' she wondered. 'What if I could really fit in here? I will never know if I don't even try.'
"Yep, this is the place," she said, and paid him.
It took everything in her just to get out of the cab, but she did it. Then she went and stood in the line with the impossibly pretty people.
As the line moved up, she drew nearer and nearer to the door and it was then that she realized something awful. The ID's were being checked by one bouncer, but in order to even get to him, you had to pass another bouncer. This one was standing there behind the velvet rope with his extremely muscular and tattooed arms crossed over his chest, wearing aviators. He looked each patron up and down. Then he would either nod his head towards the door, or direct you elsewhere.
'Oh god! Scrutiny!' she realized. She tried to avoid direct scrutiny in every possible way. Brian had not told her that this club had a dress code or some kind of other standard she would have to meet!
She panicked, wondering again if she should stay or go. Indecision gripped her. By the time she had come to the decision that she had to go through with this, she had reached the guy in the aviators.
He looked her up and down. Then he took off the aviators. He was a very handsome man. Dark short hair, yellowish-hazel eyes. Lip ring.
"Sweetheart, I have to say this is the first time I've been stumped as to whether or not someone meets dress code," he said, his voice deep and sexy, but not exactly unfriendly.
"What exactly is the dress code here?" she asked, timidly. She could almost feel herself shrinking under his powerful gaze.
"It's up to my discretion," he said. "Basically, you have to look dressy and hot. If you don't mind me asking, how long did it take you to get all laced up in that outfit?"
She started to laugh and nervously ramble.
"Oh, it's not as hard as it looks. There are zips in the back of the corset and the leggings just pull on. Earlier I had on these shoes that laced up, too, and they were the worst to get into, believe it or not. But they really made the whole thing pop, and I looked a lot dressier, I guess, than I do in these flats. But I had to change my shoes because Brian suggested maybe I shouldn't wear them as I had some difficulty in his shop with them earlier - Not that I fell or anything -"
"Brian? Brian who?" he asked, suddenly very interested in her story.
She realized she didn't know his last name.
"Um, Synyster Gates?" she replied.
"You know Gates?" he asked, looking somewhat surprised.
"Yeah. I'm meeting him here for drinks?" she said, not sure if she should be telling anyone this. What if he didn't want anyone to know? What if he ditched her?! God, this night was turning out to be so hard already!
"Oh. Cool. Have fun then," he said, and gave her the nod towards the door.
"I-I can go in now?" she asked, tentatively pointing towards the door.
"Sure. Any friend of Brian's is a friend of mine. Have a good night. And if you need anything at all, come find me," he said, and smiled. "The name's Matt. Or you can call me Shadows."
"Oh. Oh, thanks, Matt!" she said, and smiled. "I'm Valen."
"Thanks!" she grinned.
'Wow, a new friend,' she thought, happily. 'My new friend, Mr. Shadows!'
She had her ID checked by the other guy, and went inside.
Maybe this night wasn't going to be so bad after all?
Once inside, she found the place to be rocking. The place was packed, the music was loud and pumping (thanks to a gorgeous DJ spinning in a DJ booth), and bodies were swaying and grinding on the dance floor. Booths were filled with what looked like the town's alternative elite population, and they were drinking and laughing it up like tomorrow would never come.
She headed to the bar. There was no way she could get comfortable here without a few drinks in her system. She checked her phone. It was 1:15. Brian had probably just gotten off work. Time to kill some time. Maybe he'd be there by 2:00? That seemed reasonable. She reached the bar and found that it was crowded. No surprise there. There was another smaller bar on the other side of the room, but it was just as overrun with patrons as this one. So she stayed at this one. She wedged herself into an empty space and waited to get the bartender's attention.
The bartender was a tall, lanky guy dressed in a dressy black shirt and a satin tie. His black pants hung low on his hips, and were held up by a belt made of bullets. His dark hair hung in his face, and he was wearing a good deal of eyeliner. She could see this guy being a friend of Brian's.
'Why do all of his friends look so goddamn cool?' she wondered. 'Could I ever be cool enough to be his friend?'
Every time she would try to get his attention, someone would push ahead of her, or yell his name. "Jimmy! Reverend!" Apparently he knew everyone, and they all wanted to say hi, crack jokes, or give him tips. He was a celebrity in here. He was so busy serving drinks, doing shots with people, laughing his ass off and having a good time. She wanted to have a good time! All she wanted was one drink to start with. By the time she got literally shoved aside by a tall rockabilly girl with a wicked snarl and Betty Page bangs, she started to get frustrated.
"What does a girl have to do to get served around here!" she cried, not thinking anyone was listening. But then a beautiful girl with big blue eyes and a stunning chest tattoo laid a hand on her arm.
"Sugar, you aren't gonna get anywhere being timid," she said. "What are you ordering?"
"A...a...shot of Jameson and a beer," she said, wondering if that sounded lame or cool. How could she tell?
"What kind of beer?"
"That's my girl," the girl said, and squeezed her shoulder. Then she leaned in front of her and yelled loudly. "HEY JIMMY!"
Jimmy turned around and saw her. He put his hand to his heart. "BABY!" he cried, and literally ran over to her quite gaily.
He threw his arms around her and hugged her, dramatically. She squeezed back.
"What do you want? Jimmy's got whatever you need, on the house as always, Baby," he said.
"Two double shots of Jameson and two pints of Guiness," she ordered.
"Coming right up," he said, and went to fix the drinks.
'Baby' turned and grinned at her. "That's how you get shit done," she grinned.
"Yeah, it only works for you cause you look like you do," Valen teased.
The girl was gorgeous. She had glossy brown hair that hung in loose waves like a movie starlet, full red lips like Scarlett Johanson, and a knockout figure. She was wearing a halter dress with a nautical motif, and she had amazing cleavage. She looked like she fell out of some 50's magazine photo spread.
"Aw, c'mon, you're as cute as a button," she said. "You just have to be assertive."
Valen was very flattered to receive a compliment like that. She could tell she liked this girl already.
Jimmy came back with their drinks, and she and "Baby" did their shots together and started drinking beer.
"So, first time here? I haven't seen you before."
"Yeah," she said. "I don't go out to clubs much but I'm looking to change that."
"Well, I can help ya there," she smiled. "My name's Saskia, but most everyone calls me Baby."
"Oh, cool. I'm Valen," she said, with a friendly smile.
The two did more shots together, and Baby called Jimmy back over to get them another round of beer. She introduced her to Jimmy, and he seemed very nice. Valen couldn't believe she was having a good time! And meeting so many new people!
"So, why do they call you Baby?" Valen asked, as they started on their third beers.
"Oh! Cause the first time I came here I met my boyfriend for the first time. He was so drunk when we met that he couldn't pronounce my name, so he just called me Baby. It kinda stuck, and the whole night he introduced me to everyone as Baby. Now they just keep calling me that."
"Wow. How did you guys hook up if he was that drunk?" she asked.
"Well, if you saw him you'd understand," she said, and laughed. "Amazingly hot. At first I liked him because he's hot. Then I found out he's an amazing kisser. Then the more we hung out, I found out he's a really good person. And we just fell in love. He's just the perfect boyfriend. He's always there for me. I don't know what I would do without him."
Baby sighed, happily, obviously thinking about her boyfriend.
"Awww," Valen said. "That's so amazing! I'm so happy for you! I want to find someone like that someday."
"You will," she assured her, and squeezed her hand.
Valen noticed that Baby's fingernails were painted neatly the perfect shade of red. Was there anything about this girl that was not perfect? But she was so nice, too, that Valen couldn't dislike her. In fact, she was sure that she and Baby were going to be good friends.
She checked her phone to see the time. 1:40. She knew that Brian should be there soon. That made her happy.
"Waiting for a friend?" Baby asked.
"Yeah, I'm supposed to have drinks with someone," she said.
"Yeah, my boyfriend's supposed to be - Oh hey, there he is," she said, excitedly.
"Where?" Valen asked. She had to see this infamous boyfriend.
Baby pointed to the front door as a guy walked in.
And that guy was none other than Brian.
'Oh God, no,' Valen thought. 'It can't be.'
"The guy right there, in the fedora?" she asked.
"That's my baby!" Baby cried.
Before she knew it, Baby had run off and was making her way through the crowd to Brian. Valen could only sit there and watch as she threw herself into Brian's arms and they kissed and groped each other for what seemed like forever. It seemed to happen in slow motion, like a car accident.
Even though Valen knew that she could never be Brian's girlfriend, it was still very painful to see that not only was he taken, he was taken by the most wonderful girl she could have imagined. She could never compete with her. She didn't know anyone that could.
Brian, also known as Synyster Gates, was off the market for all intents and purposes. She would never have a snowball's chance in hell. She wasn't even going to get to hang out with him, what with his girlfriend being here. She needed something with which to kill the pain. Quickly.
She turned around on her bar stool and let out a loud yell.
"JIMMY!" she bellowed.
Jimmy showed up almost instantaneously.
"Yes, Valen, dear?" he asked.
"Two double shots of Jameson."
"As you wish," he said, with a flourish, then poured her shots.
"In fact, I think I'll join you," he decided, and set up two shots for himself.
They did their shots at the same time, and though Jimmy's didn't seem to affect him at all, Valen's hit her hard. She'd already had a couple of shots and three beers, so the two double shots almost knocked her off of her bar stool. After a few minutes she regained her balance, but she knew she was drunk as fuck. So she did the only logical thing in this situation: she headed onto the dance floor to dance.
While she was over there, she got a closer look at that DJ. While she was looking at him, he winked at her. So she walked over to him.
"Hey Mr. DJ," she said, lamely, and did a little dance.
"Hey, gorgeous," he said, with a smile.
She noticed that he had some wicked cool green eyes.
And then she noticed that she was getting lightheaded. She sauntered over to the nearest table and plopped down into a chair, thinking about those green eyes. As she was thinking, someone she recognized passed the table.
"MATT!" she cried, and threw her arms up.
"Hey," he said, stopping at her table.
"My new friend, Mr. Shadows!" she sang, and got up to hug him about the neck.
He hugged back and laughed.
"So did you see Syn?" he asked, when she finally let go.
"Yeah, he was here, but I didn't get to talk to him yet cause Baby saw him first..." she trailed off.
"Oh. Yeah. Those two are inseparable sometimes," he said. "I'm gonna go find him, I have to talk to him for a minute anyway. Wanna come?"
She wanted to, but she had the nagging urge to go to the bathroom.
"Um, I have to go to the Ladies' Room. I'll catch up to you," she said.
"Okay," he said, and left.
Valen realized that she didn・t know where the Ladies' Room was. She took a look around the club and everything was just so bright and active. Everything seemed to spin and whir through her vision. It made her dizzy.
The next thing she knew, she was lying on the floor.
She then realized someone was hovering over her, shaking her and saying something. And when she opened her eyes, the first thing she saw was a pair of wicked cool green eyes.