Chapter Eight
The Drink's On Me

Ryan's POV

The heat of the room flushed my skin and had me sweating in minutes, beads of perspiration raced down the back of my neck.


That's all I could think of, I felt hands brush my legs, face, and arms all at the same time and I hugged myself closer to Austin hoping to hide behind his looming figure. I never thought myself to be the claustrophobic type but I was starting to severely doubt that assumption. The floor pounded beneath my unsteady feet, that were constantly being crushed in the throng of people.

I was now starting to remember the reason I never went clubbing before, looks like this venture was going to be a first and a last.

Everyone followed Cole to a back table in the club and got seated. Austin sat to my left with Cole to his left. One of Cole's friends (whose name escapes me at the moment) sat to my right while Chase occupied the seat right across from my own. Vanessa wasn't sitting to the left or right of him because she was politely seated on his lap.

His lazy smile told me that he was on to my little game, but I've always been a strategic thinker. If this was a battle of the minds I could win this no question!

All I had to do was get in his head.

Cole was the first to speak "Drinks people! Can we get some alcohol to lighten the mood? The vibe here is kind of stiff!" Another one of Cole's friends seated himself beside Chase, a smudged napkin was clutched tightly in his hand while a girl who was dancing a little bit away waved him off. Well he sure works fast.

Chase was the first to nod in agreement and slowly everyone but me was agreeing.

I was never a drinker, but I didn't want to look like the baby here in front of everyone. I mean I was already the smallest, besides one glass wouldn't hurt right?

A waitress strolled over to our table, shouting over the loud music and asking what our order was. Once again Cole was the first to order something, he wanted a margarita. I had no idea what it was seeing as the only alcohol I knew about was wine and beer so I decided to side with him on that and make it two margaritas. It sounded safe.

Everyone else ordered beer except for Vanessa who ordered a shot of Vodka. Chase looked at her uncertainly, but the expression on his face seconds later was one of nonchalance.

I began to stare at my fingers that traced patterns on the table. It wasn't until I heard someone talking in my direction that I began to listen attentively. "Sweetheart, aren't you a little young to be drinking? In fact, how old are you, how did you get in here?" The question was asked with a hint of malice and there no question about who asked it.

I inwardly sighed, "No, I'm 21. And I got in here the same way you did, by walking." I replied letting slight annoyance seep into my voice. I watched Chase smother a smile and the sight instantly made mine widen a bit. He really was handsome when he wasn't being an ass, and when he didn't have beautiful sluts sitting in his lap. What is he Santa Claus?!

The blonde girl sneered at me while saying "Whatever midget." Was that the best she could do? I was not even going to grace that with a response, instead I looked away and stared at Austin who had his eyes trained on Cole. Cole was staring absently at the club floor and didn't see Austin's gaze.

I had to hand it to Austin, he was a real loyal guy and looked like he was head over heels for this Cole guy. I didn't know whether he was good enough for my Austin but I guess I'd have to wait.

The clank of glasses interrupted my thoughts as my attention jerked towards the waitress who had just left our drinks on the table. Cole grabbed his drink and passed the others down the table, but my eyes were trained in front of me staring at the margarita. I didn't want to do this, but something in me told me to do it. Just grab it and drink it! I risked a glance at Chase and saw his eyes staring intensely at me, watching every move I made.

I glanced back at my drink, no time for games now. I grabbed the cup and held it's icy rim to my lips as a strawberry flavored liquid slipped down my mouth searing the edges of my throat on the way down. I winced at the after taste and set the glass back down. After holding back the urge to gag I looked Chase dead in the eye as the smirk on his face mirrored my own. His beer was already drained and half of our table had vacated in the few minutes I had downed my drink in. Only Vanessa, Chase, and I remained and Vanessa was staring at some man in the crowd who beckoned her for a dance.

She returned his gesture with a flirty smile and wink, I knew she was a slut.

Resting her hands on Chase's shoulder she said "Oh Chase, I think I see one of my friends over there. You know, Gabby from University right?" He nodded his head, eyes still fixed on mine holding an unofficial staring contest with my own.

Vanessa quickly sauntered off after getting his approval.

And then there were two.

"What kind of games are you playing Ryan" was the first thing that broke our silence seconds after Vanessa left.

"The same ones you started." I replied keeping my answers vague. He flashed me a heart breaking smile just before saying "I'm with Vanessa, why can't you just get over me?"

Well obviously she's with someone else, but that's okay. I don't really care.

"I was never stuck on you in the first place" I said lifting myself from my chair and turned my back on the conversation. I slipped onto the dance floor with ease, trying to lose Chase through all the bodies and made my way towards the opposite edges of the club.

But damn him and his long tall people's legs! Gosh sometimes I hate being small! He grabbed my shoulder and turned me around his eyes swimming with mirth. Just like a jerk to laugh at my misfortune!

"I'm sorry but I don't think I could let you go without a dance first" he said, hands lowering to my hips, pressing our bodies tighter.

I gulped as a rosy tint covered my face and I glared at his feet because I didn't have the nerves to look him in the eye. "Sorry but... I don't think so"

I said trying to push on his chest but he only pulled me closer to him, trapping my hands between us. I only had enough room to snake them around his shoulders while he began to move our bodies. The song was a fast one and Chase was definitely dancing, about a step away from dry humping me and I was stuck, frozen to the spot.

"You know..." he said, his lips sweeping across the shell of my ear a husky tone taking over his deep voice. "I'm pretty sure it takes two people to dance" his breath ghosted from my ear down to my jawline and he place small fleeting kisses on the side of my neck.

I bit my lip to try and stop the sounds that were begging to escape my lips, I had more control than this and I was not going to lose it front of him.

Why, was he doing this? He was fucking with me, I'm supposed to be doing that to him not the other way around! I ingested a huge gulp of air as his face neared mine and he said slowly to me "So much for getting over me."

The rage that was brewing earlier hit me full force as I shoved my way out of his grasp staring daggers at him, willing thesmile off of his lips.

"You know what chase, fuck off."

He chuckled again saying "Well, aren't you a little firecracker?"

"Yea, well you're a real asshole and you probably take it there too!" I yelled storming off in to the crowd of people trying to get away as fast as I could. Ok so maybe what I said was a little immature but, still he thinks he has me wrapped around his fingers? He's so wrong!

Further away, tangled in the crowd I could still see him but he couldn't reach me, and for that I was grateful.

Step by step, I watched myself cross the dance floor with caution and didn't notice the body barracading my path until I ran right into the owner. I looked up into a pair of dark blue eyes that displayed a bit of amusement. It was a man with medium length black hair and pale skin like my own. The smile he wore was easy going and I suddenly felt myself smiling back.

Something about this guy oozed safety, almost like the aura around him was a sanctuary.

His smile widened as he watched the conflict of my emotions play across my features. He was definitely gorgeous, but more in a pretty boy kind of way. Chase was more rugged looking but I think it's safe to say this guy was the better looking out of the two.

Perfect, just the guy to piss him off!

I turned on what little charm I had and flashed the guy a coy smile one that he returned, "Adam" he said answering one of the many questions I had in my head. Oh, so he was a man of few words, even better.

"Ryan" I replied. The corners of his mouth quirked up as he looked more intensely at me "Want to dance?" he finally asked.

What do I say!? I knew how to dance but I had never danced with a guy before. And how would I dance? This is club music, none of the contemporary that I dance to!

But the purpose of tonight was to play the game, that was what I had to remind myself.

With a self determined glance I nodded in his direction and let him pull me to the middle of the dance floor. Bodies pulsed around us and the music from the speakers seemed to have been put on full blast, but I didn't care.

An up-beat hip hop song was the next to play and I looked around as the environment around us changed. The girls were practically having sex with their partners on the dance floor, I couldn't do that! But I watched them closely for a minute as I finally began to loosen up and let my hips glide to the beat. I could see Chase on the outside of the dance floor, watching me again.

He was always watching me, but this time the emotion on his face was unreadable.

I knew I had a show to put on, and as I swung my hips a little faster and moved my whole body to the rhythm I knew I also had to play the part. And play the part well.

I gave him a sly wink as my lips curled into the expression of a pleased cheshire cate. He was not the only one who holds cards in this game.

Chase's POV

Look at her dancing with someone she doesn't even know, what kind of girl is she? As she started to push her body closer to the guy's she was dancing with, a small bit of anger rushed into me and began slowly to fill my body.

He was touching what was mine, and she did nothing but encourage him! If he asked her, would she go home with him tonight? My teeth bared at the thought as I pushed down the urge to beat this guy. But it wasn't his fault, he was just caught in the warfare between me and her.

And if that wasn't enough, she had picked a vampire to dance with her. It was like she wanted to do everything to shove this in my face, wow this girl really had a talent for pushing my buttons. I glanced around the club looking for Vanessa only to find her sitting with another man at the bar.

So much for being sorry. God, and we had just got back together.

Oh well, I guess this gives me an excuse to break up with her again. I looked back at Ryan again seeing her even closer to the guy and his hands firmly on her hips moving his own body in sync. I didn't need to see this right now! In a puff of anger I walked away and marched over to where Vanessa was and tapped her on the shoulder from behind. When she turned around her eyes got wide and her mouth opened but no words came out.

"Just if you didn't know, we're over. Again." I said to her and turned to leave. She didn't even bother to beg me to stay, well that was easy.

I returned back to the spot where I had been standing earlier only to find Ryan and that guy gone! I could feel my right eye starting to twitch a little but I had to try and keep calm at least just for a little while longer. I scanned the club with my eyes again but they could have been anywhere.

What if he had dragged her off somewhere?

What was she doing right now?

What was he doing to her right now?

How could I let her out of my sight?

So many questions raced through my mind, another part of me burned on the inside not knowing where my mate was. We weren't fully connected yet so I couldn't feel whether she was okay or not. A calm fury settled in my veins and raced through my blood as the predator in me was slowly coming undone. I thought I had more control than this.

And ever since I had met her, I'd been more than a little wrong.

Ryan's POV

I was buzzed with alcohol by my fourth drink while Adam and I sat in a secluded corner of the bar. He was steadily telling jokes to me as more and more giggles bubbled from my lips. A little after Chase had stopped watching, Adam dragged me to this spot in the club and we had been seated here for over an hour.

I was offered drinks by waitresses and one after another I downed them all telling myself it was only one more. Now I sat in front of Adam swaying a little in my seat and laughing at everything he said. I just couldn't help myself.

"So I'm really starting to enjoy this conversation with you, but I would love to continue it in a quieter area. You agree?" was what Adam asked and then quirked his eyebrow at me.

A quieter place seemed nice, and Adam seemed safe enough. Though I had the strange feeling I was forgetting something I shrugged it off and nodded to him. We clasped hands as he pulled me to the hallway where the bathrooms were and pushed my back to the wall. His own body enveloped my own and his hands began to wander.

More giggles came out of my mouth and it was when he kissed me that I snapped to attention. Something just didn't feel right, he licked my bottom lip and poked at me for entrance. Even in my alcohol induced haze my mind registered that this was wrong. The feel of his hands and the weight of his body.

It just didn't mesh with mine, but he didn't seem to notice. Instead he moved his mouth to my neck and hovered over the spot where Chase had bitten me. I could feel Adam's teeth begin to skim over my neck and the alarms in my head went off with a blare.

Something about this situation seemed so familiar.

Maybe because it was just how Chase was before he bit me. Seeing as I didn't like it the first time it happened I was determined to make sure there would be no second time. I put my hands to Adam's chest and tried to push him away but he resisted. Only clinging to my waist harder. I wriggled in his grasp as he moved one hand to the back of my neck to steady me.

What was up with guys and biting me?!

What did I look like, a piece of fucking meat?

It was when the growl that I'd grown accustomed to rumbled in my ear did my body begin to relax. The hold Adam had had on me was now very loose as he tore his face away from my neck to come face to face with none other then my most persistent annoyance in the whole world.

With Adam's face out of the way I could see Chase's stoic expression clearly along with a flare of anger burning behind his eyes, something in me was strangely comforted at the thought.

"She's marked" he said with his arms crossed over his chest, eyes not locked on my own for once. Adam let go of my waist completely as he spun around to face Chase, as I backed away from him and moved closer to Chase I could see the smirk on his face grow.

"Well it seems like the girl's refused you, seeing as mated women don't go out flirting with other men. Or is this an 'open' relationship?" he sneered and I saw Chase take on a new stance, his teeth bared in preparation of what was coming.

"And it seems like the girl's not satisfied with you. She didn't turn me down when I kissed her, it seems her reaction was a little more worthwhile" He said, the controlled smile on his lips was brief. Gone as fast as it came.

Adam, immediately recognizing the challenge held his hands up in mock defeat. "Fine, fine have the stupid girl then! Do you know how hard it is to find a proper mate in this city, especially one of my own kind?" he inquired.

My head swiveled in his direction, what exactly was he? I tried thinking but I ended up getting a major migraine and settled for rubbing my forehead instead.

"Well seeing as you've made a move on my property I have the right to kill you, but I'm going to spare you and let your ass go. I want you gone within the next ten seconds" He began counting and Adam looked at him with a pleading look in his eyes.

"She's not property! Come on just let her mate with someone who will actually treat her properly!" he countered.

"...7...8...9" Chase finished counting but Adam was already on his way out of the hallway, an angry scowl escaped his lips.

Chase's POV

I pinched the bridge of my nose in frustration, now that that guy was gone alot of my anger dissapated but I was still very annoyed. Leave it to Ryan to attract people even while she's marked, this is going to be a huge problem if people think they can just ignore the sacred marks of a mate. Stupid leeches, to disrespectful for their own damn good!

With my eyes closed I sould hear Ryan trying to slip past me quietly, and it wasn't until I could sense her an inch away that my arm reached out and grabbed her own. "And where do you think you're going" I asked impatiently, my grip firm around her arm. Opened my eyes expecting to get her wrath about how she's wasn't owned and could do whatever she wants... blah blah blah but instead she had a pathetic look on her face, a sheen of sweat covered her forehead.

"I just want to go home now, I'm tired of playing games" she muttered weakly her body swaying slightly. To much alcohol probably, she is definitely not a drinker. I had to scowl at her stupidity, really could she be any smarter?

I started to move forward through the club, dragging her out but her body looked as if she was about to tip over, and her half lidded eyes were unfocused. She must really exhausted.

I finally moved back to her side and picked her up, cradling her body in my arms shaking my head as I walked out of the building. I guess it was back to my place seeing as I have no clue where she lives. Great... I'll definitely be getting the sharper edge of her tongue in the morning.

Ok people, I swear I'm not dead I've just been real busy and haven't been in the mood to get a new chapter out, but I promise you I haven't given up yet! So in this chapter Chase actually admits that he does worry about her, shows a different side of himself... now if only he could make that quantum leap to admitting that he actually likes her.

Yeah, like that'll happen, but he's starting to soften up. Anyways, read and review and sorry if there are any typos I didn't get a chance to thoroughly edit it yet.