Chapter Seventeen: Lucy�s Old F**k:

Valentine's Day.

Life's gotten kind of boring lately. Lucy didn't feel like doing much tonight. Partying bored her. Sex didn't appeal to her. No, she wanted to be alone now. The Goth ran her finger along the top of the bottle.

Sucks without Stel, she thought. No one to bitch to. Lucy sighed at the bar. She looked out on the dance floor. A sneer came on her face. Valentine's Day, she thought as she watched the couples act all lovey-dovey tonight. Belch! Much fun with whips, chains, booze, and snarky comments. She frowned to herself. Even that's not fun alone now. Lucy took another drink.

"Here's to you, Stel," she whispered. Lucy took another drink. She lowered her head. The woman fought back a groan.

"One Sapporo," she heard a man say. Lucy paused. Is that� who I think it is? She turned and looked. A man sat at the bar waiting. He had on all black just like her. Despite the profile, she recognized the silver rings on his right hand. Lucy blinked several times. She squinted at last.

"Jared?" the Goth woman asked. The man turned when he heard someone call his name. It took him a moment to realize.

"Lucy?" he asked. The two people tried to make sense of this reunion as they stared at each other. Lucy pressed her fingertips together.

"Well," she said. "When did you get back to Japan?"

"Last night," Jared said.

Lucy ran her finger over the top of her bottle again. "Six whole years."

The man in black nodded. "Yep."

"So how long are you staying this time?"

"Two years."

"Ah," she replied. The bartender returned with Jared's beer. He opened the bottle and took a drink. Lucy kept her eyes on the bottle.

"Still drinking Sapporo?" she asked.

"Yep," Jared replied. "Best of Japan!"

"Hm," she said. The woman drew out a cigarette from her bag and put it in her mouth. He smiled as she lit up.

"I missed your smokes," the man said. Lucy gave him an odd look.

"You smoke too," she said.

"Yeah," Jared replied with a nod. "But I enjoy watching you when you do."

"What for?"

"Does there have to be a reason?"

Lucy sat back with a smile and shook her head. "Guess not." Jared took out his own cigarette and lit up. The pounding music in the club floated over their heads. Lucy never enjoyed remixed Jpop music. She always felt like brushing her teeth after listening to it. Her teeth hurt thinking about it.

"Where did you go last time?" she asked.

"Philippines," Jared answered.

"Was it nice?"



"Not much to do there."

Lucy looked at him in shock. "What?"

"That's what I said."

The woman shook her head. "Wow. My how the mighty have fallen."

Jared raised an eyebrow at her. "What makes you say that?"

Lucy took another puff of her cigarette. "Not Jared the Wild getting bored in a foreign country."

Jared finished up his beer. "Give me another!" The bartender got right to work. Lucy's boy turned to her. "The economy's been shit in the past couple of years," he said. "The company has us too busy for much else." He took another puff of his cigarette. "Besides, you add to my fun."

Lucy raised an eyebrow at him. "Do I?"


"How so?"

Jared flicked out his cigarette. He put his hand on her fishnet-clad knee. "I can show you, if you like." Lucy forced herself to frown at first. She grabbed onto his wrist firmly. Jared looked up to see her famous grin at him.

"Whoa, slow down there, player," she said. "You just got back to Japan."

Jared raised an eyebrow at her. "Lost your touch?" She leaned in close to his face. Their lips were inches apart.

"I want to enjoy the hell out of you for the next two years," she whispered. "And I can't do that in one night, can I?"

Jared gave her a dirty smile. "That's true." Lucy smiled at her victory. She let go of his wrist and turned back to the bar.

"Bartender!" she called. "Another drink!" Jared got his second beer and took a sip. The Goth woman put her hand on her boy's knee as if she was saying, "Mine, bitches!" And just like that, Valentine's Day didn't suck anymore.