“Would you like to go for a drink?”
Bryce was rather surprised by this suggestion from Tyler. They were, after all, having a drink in a coffee shop.
It may have been the perplexed look on Bryce’s face that prompted Tyler to clarify his question;
“I mean a real drink. At a bar” he said.
Bryce was somewhat hesitant to immediately agree to his offer. It wasn’t that she did not want to spend time with Tyler; he was after all a very handsome, charming guy. But she tended to avoid busy bars. The cacophony of noise from the drunken revellers always made her feel uncomfortable.
Besides she really wanted to get stuck in with reading more about Earthykinda.
She had reached the part where the barbarian clan, the Toonidunzas, had returned home following a devastating defeat at the hands of the D’Annimo family.
Surprisingly, despite a number of their clan being wiped out their response was to go home and have sex with the women (or indeed anything else that may be around).
Bryce was unsure if this was an appropriate reaction. If it was for the purpose of procreation, to replenish the numbers lost, then they were going have to wait a good few years until they could attack again. It didn’t seem a very well thought out plan.
The author had been unclear if indeed this was the plan as he seemed to concentrate more on the acts rather than the reason. Through pages and pages of explicit content their motivation remained uncertain, Bryce wasn’t even sure if some of the women had agreed to be party to the barbarian’s carnal wishes.
The explicit description of sexual acts did not totally bother her. Bryce would have preferred it wasn’t there or at the very least a warning of such explicit content (of which there was none).
Besides it had reminded her of that time at school when she was reading a fairy tale book from the school library only to find, halfway through, that someone had drawn a penis over one of the pages.
“So? Do you fancy it?” asked Tyler.
Bryce with some reluctance nodded in agreement. It was a date.
Was it a date though? Or was it just two people having a drink? These thoughts occupied Bryce as she got ready. They had agreed to meet at a trendy wine bar near to where she lived.
Her preoccupation as to what the expectations for the night would be meant she did not have a chance to read anymore about Earthykinda.
Her trip to that world would have to wait while she dealt with real world problems such as what to wear. Not too revealing , not too short but not too casual.
Bryce was not a complete amateur on dating guys but she did contemplate messaging her sister for advice. However as her finger hovered over the ‘L’ in her Contacts she decided it would not be a good idea.
Previously the only advice her sister had offered was ‘Make sure he’s bought you the chicken nuggets before letting him in your knickers’. Such advice had been less than helpful.
Despite it being a Wednesday the bar was quite busy. The clientele consisted mainly of office workers ending their night by drinking themselves into near oblivion.
Bryce had opted to wear smart trousers, a white blouse and ankle boots. Smart enough to show she’s made an effort but a clear sign to Tyler that this was only just a drink.
She found him waiting at a tall circular table surrounded by equally tall stools. Bryce found them a curious thing. Within a few hours the people in this bar will find it difficult to stand, let alone be able to sit four feet off the ground.
Bryce and Tyler exchanged polite pleasantries as she tried to sit gracefully on one of the large stools. Being only five foot five it was something of a challenge to get seated and retain dignity.
Tyler wore his work suit. He had taken off his tie and his top button was undone. Bryce got a whiff of his cologne that smelt fresh. His hair looked wet yet it had not been raining and she presumed he had been at the gym prior to coming to the bar.
Tyler offered to get her a drink which pleased Bryce. Not just because it showed he was a true gentleman but she hadn’t fancied the descent back down from the stool. She intended to do that only when necessary.
Bryce opted for a wine, she was not much of a drinker but could handle her drink. She would limit herself, however, to only a couple of glasses, it was after all a work night.
Tyler as always did most of the talking and Bryce simply smiled and nodded. This was due, in part, to the noise level being so high in the bar. The raucous laughter drowning out whatever it was Tyler was saying to her.
She allowed herself to drift temporarily back to the world of Earthykinda. In fake olden days this bar would be the tavern where many a warrior, thief or vagrant would come to sup ale, sing random songs everyone appeared to know the words to and then fight.
Bryce was certainly sure that Knight Tyler wouldn’t bring her to such an unpleasant place.
After a short while Bryce excused herself to go to the ladies room. There was no urgent need to pee. However, by the time she had lowered herself off the stool and made her way up the unnecessary four flights of steps to the toilet she’d be bursting to go.
Her route to the toilet took her past the bar where a group of men were drinking and talking loudly, they immediately noticed Bryce.
She never did anything to bring attention to herself but she was a pretty girl and that, apparently, was reason enough for attention to follow her.
“Here lads take a look at her” she heard one say, resulting in the less attentive of the group to turn and look at Bryce.
“She’s got a nice rack on her”
“I’d tap that”
“Here darling wanna come over here for a bit of fun” said one whilst grabbing his groin, just in case Bryce hadn’t fully understood what he meant.
She just lowered her head and walked quickly by; she didn’t really know what else to do. Her sister would have handled it differently, given them some expletive laden response in return. But she was not her sister.
Reaching the sanctuary of the toilets she lingered there longer than perhaps she needed to, hoping that by the time she made her way back to the bar the lecherous horde would have dispersed.
Taking one final look in the mirror, she took a deep breath and went back downstairs.
Bryce was disappointed to see they were still there and no sooner had she emerged back into the bar the catcalling recommenced.
She didn’t look at them, didn’t acknowledge them, just put her head down and made her way back to the table.
Tyler had left his seat to meet her halfway “Are those guys bothering you?”
Bryce shook her head. She could hardly say they were. Whilst she was confident that Knight Tyler would unleash hell upon them this was Real Tyler and there was six of them.
She didn’t want any trouble, didn’t want to see Tyler hurt. “No it’s fine” Bryce replied “But if it’s okay with you can we go?”
Tyler nodded and escorted her out the bar. Just as they were leaving Bryce found the courage to turn and look at the group of guys that had so demeaned her.
“Barbarians!” She muttered under breath.