Page 25 of Lift

“I know, but I like being by your side. I’m arm candy remember?”

He gives me a quick kiss and I walk around the corner to where the restrooms are located. There are no signs on the door, and I stand there for a second unsure of which one is the ladies’. I decide to try the first one and I push the door open slightly. When I do it’s jerked out of my hand and I run into a man coming out.

“Excuse me,” I stammer, trying not to fall over on my heels.

My arms are gripped painfully tight and when I look up, I see I’m face to face with Lance. Cara’s brother is scowling at me with a look of disgust on his face. I think he’s going to release me, but instead he pulls me closer to him. I want to scream, but panic has bubbled up in my throat and I can’t talk.

“Cara told me you fucked Harris Hill. Is that the only kind of dick you’ll spread your legs for?”

His eyes are big and his pupils are the size of quarters. He’s sweaty and red-faced, like he’s been running, and his tuxedo is a mess. The door opens behind him and I see a man walk out and I recognize him. He was one of my parents’ friends and I used to play with his daughter when we were kids. Recognition dawns on his face, but instead of stopping to see if I’m okay he speeds up to get away. He knows Lance, too, and he doesn’t want to get involved. I want to scream for Harris, because it’s clear no one else is going to come to my rescue. Fear has me rooted to the spot and my mouth closed tight. I need to push past the fear, but I can’t.

“You were always an uppity bitch.” He looks me up and down and he doesn’t like what he sees. “My sister was good to you and now you’re acting like you’re better than us. You’re nothing but trash.”

“Get your fucking hands off her.”

When I hear Harris’s voice, relief washes over me and I’m able to move. I struggle to get out of Lance’s grip, but he only holds me tighter. A whine leaves my throat and Harris comes closer until he’s right behind me. I think the reason he hasn’t lashed out is because I’m in between the two of them and he can’t get to Lance without me possibly being a target.

“You really want to fight over this bitch?” I can feel the anger rolling off Harris to the point that he’s shaking. Lance is a lot dumber than I gave him credit for. “Fuck this dumb cunt, she’s not worth it.”

Lance pushes me into Harris and tries to make a run for it, but I won’t let that happen. Harris grabs me before I can fall and I kick out, tripping up Lance and sending him face first into the tile. I hear a loud pop and blood pours from his nose where he face-planted. Harris releases me and goes over to him and grabs him by the scruff of his neck. I gasp as he throws him against the wall then holds him up by his throat until Lance looks up at him.

“If you ever so much as think about my woman again I’ll hunt you down and cut that part of your brain out.” He leans in close and squeezes his neck until Lance starts to turn blue. I hear Lance mumble some words as he grabs at the hands holding his neck, but Harris just knees him in the balls before he lets him drop to the ground.

Lance makes a crying sound as Harris stands over him, daring him to get up. I walk up behind Harris and put my hand on his back. He turns around to hold me.

“Are you okay, sweetheart?” he asks. He then calls for security to come over and take Lance away.

“I’m okay thanks to you,” I answer, leaning into his warmth. I watch as the cops carry out a crying Lance, who is mumbling about suing Harris and every person in this place.

“Hey,” Harris says and makes me look at him. “Are you ready to go?”

We haven’t been here that long, but I’m already uncomfortable with the crowd that’s forming nearby. I see a few people I know and I realize they know me, too. I want to run out of here and hide as quick as I can before the embarrassment gets all over Harris.

“Yeah, let’s go.” I duck my head and go to walk away, but I feel Harris tug on my arm. I look back and see he’s staring at the crowd and all of the people whispering. “Why don’t I go? I don’t want to ruin your big night.” I try and tug my hand from his, but his grip only tightens.