“This is the best,” Jodie cried.
And it was. Now that her limbs awakened and her brain quieted to the techno beat, she remembered what it was like to be young and carefree.
One of the guys Jodie had been dancing with disappeared for a minute and then returned with a tray of shots. He tried to pass one to Reyna, but she shook her head. No way was she going to drink during all of this madness.
“Oh, come on, Rey,” Jodie grumbled, shoving the shot in her hand. “What’s the worst that could happen?”
“We already know the answer to that.” Reyna placed her shot back on the tray.
But Jodie tipped the shot back and shook her head as the heat of the drink seemed to burn through her. Then she grabbed Reyna’s shot and hit that one back too.
The guys around her cheered and called her a champ. She flashed them her teeth as she took in their hungry expressions. Maybe Reyna was being a prude about all of this. Gabe would be back any minute. One drink wouldn’t kill her.
Then she saw the way Jodie tilted wildly one direction and decided she better not.
“Hey. Hey,” Reyna said, reaching out for her. “Are you okay?”
“I feel fucking amazing.”
But when Reyna looked into her friend’s eyes, her pupils were dilated and she sure didn’t look fine. “What was that shot?” Reyna asked the nearest guy.
“It’s a new shot! Like a Hot Damn, but we call it an Oh Shit!” the guy said.
“Great…what the hell was in it?”
“Whiskey, rum, vodka, and orange juice,” the guy said.
“And a dropper of that new vamp drug,” another guy said with a laugh.
Reyna’s stomach dropped out. “What vamp drug?”
“Don’t worry, baby. It’s not dangerous. It comes from their bite or something. It loosens you right up.”
Venom. Fucking fantastic.
And venom was addictive in most people. The more a person had had, the worse it got. Reyna may not have succumbed to it completely, but Jodie it seemed definitely had.
“We need to get you home,” Reyna said.
Reyna tried to corral Jodie away from the dancefloor, but she couldn’t seem to even drag her away. She knew what the venom felt like. The doses she was used to getting knocked her on her ass, but just a touch of the venom made you feel like you were on cloud nine. Like the world was at your feet. It lowered inhibitions and boosted the endorphins in the body. Usually it was because it was kicking the flight or fight signals in your body, telling you to get the fuck out of there. But right now, all Jodie wanted to do was live up the night.
Reyna reached for Jodie. She was feeling frantic. Where the hell was Gabe? This was a bad situation. The guys were still leering at them. They’d known what they were doing when they had given them those shots.
“Come on, baby,” one of the guys said.
Reyna shot him a threatening glare. “No.”
Adrenaline flooded her system for all new reasons as she held her ground. She latched onto Jodie’s arm and all but dragged her back toward the bar.
Luckily, the guys didn’t follow. Maybe they were really just out here to have a good time. If that drink was on the menu, then it could even be a regular. She had reacted on instinct. Save Jodie, get the hell out of there.
She shoved Jodie onto the first available bar stool and flagged down Sonya. She sauntered down to them. “What’ll ya have?” she asked in a thick northern accent. “She needs a water. Have you heard from Gabe?”
“Here you go, honey.” Sonya filled a glass with ice water and then slid it over to Jodie. “He’s still upstairs. You can go on up with your friend, if she can walk.”
Reyna looked Jodie over. She couldn’t.
Jodie brought the water to her lips. Reyna wanted to go upstairs and find out what was taking Gabe so long, but she wouldn’t leave Jodie’s side. Especially not with those guys still leering at her nearby. She would just have to wait.
A full thirty minutes later, Gabe came racing out of the door he’d wandered into. He found them at the bar. “Come on. Got to go.”
“I need your help. Jodie,” she said, gesturing to her friend. “Some guys dosed her with vamp venom.”
“Venom?” Gabe asked.
“That new drug that they drop into drinks,” Reyna explained.
Gabe growled under his breath and then slipped an arm around Jodie’s shoulders. She sagged into him. He nodded his head at the exit for Reyna to follow.
They staggered together through the crowd. About halfway through, Gabe gritted his teeth in frustration and lifted Jodie into his arms as if she weighed nothing at all. Reyna wondered what the hell he’d been doing upstairs for so long and who the contact was that he’d met with. Had something gone wrong? Were they now in danger?