“Come on, Follet, you look like you could use a drink!” Del looked up from her spot on the comfy chair. When she saw who was talking with her she shook her black haired head.
“Leave me alone, Alenko,” she said. “I’m not in the mood.” She lifted the side of her lip, ready to snarl something else at him if he didn’t leave. She knew that with her strong physique and red scar across her lips she looked more than a little intimidating. Surely intimidating enough to get Alenko to leave her alone.
He held up his hands in a defensive gesture.
“Fine, fine, I was just offering. You’ve been sitting here all night.”
Del nodded, but didn’t smile. She couldn’t wait for the others to leave. The national holiday brought out the strangest things in people. They wanted to celebrate the country’s finest. The heroes. The do – gooders. It made Del sick. She wanted no one to celebrate her or her past actions. She hated this stupid day. Usually she made it bearable by drinking with her old commander, but the bastard had betrayed her and gone on a date instead.
The lobby filled with silence as Del was finally left alone. She should have felt relief, but instead she was filled with anxiety. She tapped her foot on the floor and tried to resist biting on nails. She was a lieutenant commander damn it, acting like this was beneath her. After crossing her legs and then uncrossing them, she got up and headed for the door. She didn’t really want to, but anything would be better than just sitting here.
* * *
And there was something better. As much as Del had dreaded going into town, she had to admit that moving to the beat of music inside the club was nice. It was a lesbian club, a small one and Del could drown in blessed anonymity. She was just a person in the crowd, not a hero, not military. Just another lesbian out on the Fourth of July who wanted to get lost in the music. She danced for a while longer, but then when the next song ended, she headed over to the bar and ordered a drink.
She leaned against the bar on her elbow and let her gaze sweep across the room. The club wasn’t completely filled with people since most were celebrating elsewhere. Del found herself wondering why the people around her weren’t with families or friends, celebrating with apple pie, fireworks and good conversation. They couldn’t all be dealing with latent PTSD tendencies and a commander who had abandoned her on this night of all nights. Del chugged her drink down as the beat of the music continued.
That was when she noticed a young woman sitting by one of the tables to the side. She was nodding her head to the music, golden locks bouncing around her shoulders. She looked a bit like a porcelain doll. Del was so focused on inspecting the woman’s pale skin and cute nose that she didn’t notice the woman’s gaze traveling, suddenly blue eyes looked straight into Del’s black ones. Del immediately looked away. Her cheeks heated and she hated it. She lifted her gaze again and noticed that the blonde woman was laughing. Seemingly at her. Del turned her head towards the bar and ordered another drink.