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 Is anybody out there? Hello, alone [open]

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rockinthehd
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PostSubject: Is anybody out there? Hello, alone [open]   Sun Jun 22, 2008 10:12 am

The music blared on, loud and headache-inducing with its bass thumping in contrast to the synthesized melody and Lynne looked down at her watch. Another hour before she could leave this God-forsaken place.

All around her section of the bar were either empty stools or drunken college-aged girls, clumped together squealing in drunken slurs. Tips were barely going to pay her cab fare tonight, if that. It wasn't that the club was slow that night, so much as it was filled with young people who either didn't know or didn't care that proper ettiquette meant tipping their bartender after a round.

There wasn't even any attractive men floating around as far as Lynne had noticed, anyway, to distract her from her miserable mood. She wondered fleetingly if any of the regulars would come in tonight. There was a small group of men and women who came in every once in a while, usually in pairs or alone, but the same ones, in any case. She had found herself wondering if perhaps they worked in the Millenium Centre a little ways up the street or maybe in an office building nearby, since she'd noticed that a habit of the English seemed to be dropping into the club after work hours.

They never spoke much - not to Lynne, anyway - when they came. Always just sat down, ordered their drinks and either went on talking to one another in hushed tones or, if they came in alone, simply stared into their drinks between swigs, looking downtrodden and exhausted. If there was one thing that Lynne had learned in her time working at the club, it was that not every patron wanted their bartender to also play their psychiatrist. So, after getting a blank stare and being then ignored by one of the female regulars, Lynne had learned just to leave them be.

Still, whenever they came in in pairs, Lynne could at least pass the time eavesdropping. They always spoke of the strangest things. It was like they were talking in code. Sometimes, she thought maybe they were just sci-fi geeks babbling on in practically their own little language, but either way, still, slyly listening in to their conversations passed the time.
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PostSubject: Re: Is anybody out there? Hello, alone [open]   Sun Jun 22, 2008 11:47 am

Owen wandered into the bar near the Millennium Centre that he and the team often frequented. He wasn't trying to get lost so much as drink enough to forget the day he had just finished. The place seemed to have a pretty decent crowd tonight, albeit a bit young. He used to like following some young, 21-year-old bird home for a shag before sneaking off back into reality, but he was growing tired of the game, and he came here for a drink, not a shag.

He got to the bar and ordered a Guinness. Bartender's pretty, he thought, smiling at her slightly. He'd seen her before, but never really noticed her. God, she was pretty, wasn't she.

Maybe a shag wasn't completely out of the question...
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rockinthehd
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PostSubject: Re: Is anybody out there? Hello, alone [open]   Sun Jun 22, 2008 12:02 pm

Lynne replenished the beers and cocktails for the irritating gaggle of college girls and looked back down at her watch. Fifty minutes left on the shift. Time is crawling tonight...will it ever be time to go home? she thought miserably.

Looking back up from her watch, Lynne caught sight of one of the regulars and her spirits lifted instantly. He was one of her favorites. More often than not, he came alone and left with some girl on his arm - which, inevitably made for interesting conversation for Lynne to listen in on - and he tipped like a high roller. While he never seemed to notice her or speak to her, save the occasional 'thanks' or 'g'night,' Lynne liked him best. It had a lot to do with the fact that he was, to her, the most attractive in his lot.

Well, hello gorgeous, she thought to herself as he started toward the bar. 'bout time one of you showed up to help me pass the time...

He ordered a Guinness and she smiled a little, nodding. "Comin' right up," she said. "Tap or bottle?" she asked, although she knew normally he ordered it on tap. It was better to pretend she didn't know these things, though, especially when it was one of his lot - their secretive demeanor lent Lynne the idea that they wanted to keep to themselves and wouldn't be terribly comfortable with the lowly bartender already knowing most of their drink orders by heart.
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PostSubject: Re: Is anybody out there? Hello, alone [open]   Sun Jun 22, 2008 12:10 pm

"Tap or bottle?"

"Tap, darling. 'sbetter that way," he was flashing her his flirty smile this time. "That's not a local accent, issit? Where you from, love? And what are you doin' here?" he asked, trying to keep the disdain he felt for Cardiff at the moment to himself. God, her eyes were beautiful, and the lighting in this shack probably wasn't doing them nearly enough justice. He wondered briefly how they'd look in the moonlight. Maybe if he kept flirting, he'd find out.
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rockinthehd
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PostSubject: Re: Is anybody out there? Hello, alone [open]   Sun Jun 22, 2008 12:15 pm

Lynne nodded and turned away from him, toward the tap, chewing her bottom lip as she did so and feeling a blush rise up into her cheeks. He'd barely ever even so much as looked at her before but tonight he was smiling at her and asking questions. Maybe tonight wasn't going to be such a rotten night after all.

After filling the glass, she set it down in front of him.

"That's not a local accent, issit? Where you from, love? And what are you doin' here?"

If there was one weakness Lynne had for the men in England, it was their accent. Normally she hated it when someone called her 'love' because usually it was a skeezy man old enough to be her father and already reaking of booze by the time he'd sat down in front of her. This guy, though, was completely welcome to call her 'love' whenever he wanted, as far as she was concerned and she felt her face growing hot again. "No, it's not. I'm from New York," she said. "Moved here with my ex..." she said, forcing herself to leave it at that unless he asked for more information. Talking too much when not specifically asked wasn't usually conducive to a good tip and Lynne was still about five quid short of not having to walk home tonight.
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PostSubject: Re: Is anybody out there? Hello, alone [open]   Sun Jun 22, 2008 12:27 pm

"No, it's not. I'm from New York," she said. "Moved here with my ex..."

Woah, an Ex. Owen felt his smile fade a bit. He took a sip of his drink to cover it up. 'Well,' he thought to himself, 'at least she's single. Hope he's not some crazy...' He put his drink down.

"Ex?" he repeated. "So, what? You're all alone now in this foreign city, issat it?" He was smiling again. God, she was pretty. And so what if she moved here with an ex. Everyone has exes...
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rockinthehd
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PostSubject: Re: Is anybody out there? Hello, alone [open]   Sun Jun 22, 2008 12:32 pm

"Ex?" he repeated. "So, what? You're all alone now in this foreign city, issat it?"

Offering the man a weak smile, she nodded. "Looks like. I mean, right now I'm living with a friend I met a little while back, because I didn't really have anywhere else to go, but for the most part, alone, yeah." She paused, crinkling her nose. "He kicked me to the curb for a thinner, prettier model," she added in an almost whisper, before rolling her eyes and smirking.

The slight fade in his smile hadn't been lost on her. Lynne had worked with people for so long that she could see these things and pick up her cues from it. If she wanted this guy to stick around and keep flirting - if that's what he was doing and she certainly hoped it was - then she'd need to hint that the ex was an ex because he had so chosen. That way, it was clear that she was free for the taking without consequence of some lunatic jealous past relationship getting in the way.
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PostSubject: Re: Is anybody out there? Hello, alone [open]   Sun Jun 22, 2008 12:40 pm

"He kicked me to the curb for a thinner, prettier model."

"Prettier than you?" he said, encouraged back into full flirt mode by her actions, "From where I'm sittin, that doesn't seem to be possible."

He reached his hand out and placed it on hers, which she was resting on the bar in front of him. He looked into those gorgeous eyes of hers and smiled at her playfully.
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rockinthehd
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PostSubject: Re: Is anybody out there? Hello, alone [open]   Sun Jun 22, 2008 12:45 pm

"Prettier than you? From where I'm sittin, that doesn't seem to be possible."

Lynne was taken slightly aback in a very pleasant way. Yes, that was definitely flirting and while it seemed out of character for what she did know about this man, it certainly wasn't unwelcome. She smiled sheepishly and tucked some of her hair behind her ears before resting her hands on the bar. "Thanks..." she replied quietly.

He reached his hand out and placed it on hers

She felt her heart practically jump into her throat at his unexpected touch and then she noticed the way he was looking directly into her eyes. Lynne wet her lips and looked back at him. "What's your name?" she ventured.
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PostSubject: Re: Is anybody out there? Hello, alone [open]   Sun Jun 22, 2008 12:52 pm

Sure, his flirting was a bit different than normal, but she wasn't as young and naive as the people who frequented this bar, and she was far more attractive than most of the women he had seen there.

She asked him what his name was. He thought prefacing with 'Doctor' might seem a bit pretentious at this stage, so he'd leave it off for now. "Name's Owen. Owen Harper," he said, taking his hand back. He took a sip of his drink before asking, "And you, love? What's your name?"
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rockinthehd
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PostSubject: Re: Is anybody out there? Hello, alone [open]   Sun Jun 22, 2008 12:57 pm

He seemed to pause for a moment before speaking.

"Name's Owen. Owen Harper," he said, taking his hand back. He took a sip of his drink before asking, "And you, love? What's your name?"

Owen. Lynne made a mental note of it. She'd always rather liked that name, among other not-so-common ones. When he took his hand away, she admittedly felt slightly crestfallen, but had enough integrity not to show it. "Lynne," she said, not offering her last name.

She'd come to find that just because a man was attractive and flirtatious, there was nothing that automatically qualified him as a 'good guy.' Lynne had learned that the hard way just after The Asshole had left her and she didn't plan on making the same mistake twice. "So what brings you out tonight, Owen?" she asked.
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PostSubject: Re: Is anybody out there? Hello, alone [open]   Sun Jun 22, 2008 1:27 pm

Lynne, she said. She didn't offer up a last name, and if she was still bringing up exes, Owen figured she probably didn't want to get hurt or taken advantage of. God, he hoped she wasn't looking for a date. Although, she was very pretty, and probably far more interesting than anyone he'd taken home before... A date might not be half bad, actually...

"So what brings you out tonight, Owen?"

"Oh, you know, long day at work," he said, as he raised his glass for another drink. He looked at his drink and back at her. "Can I buy you a drink, or is that against policy?" he quipped, smiling the whole time.
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rockinthehd
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PostSubject: Re: Is anybody out there? Hello, alone [open]   Sun Jun 22, 2008 1:35 pm

"Oh, you know, long day at work," he said, as he raised his glass for another drink.

Lynne took the hint and reached for his glass, fingers accidentally-on-purpose brushing against his as she took it from him to refill it. "I know that feeling. These thirteen hour days are killing me..." she laughed as she filled the glass again and gave it back to him.

"Can I buy you a drink, or is that against policy?" he quipped, smiling the whole time.

Grinning, Lynne looked down at her watch. "I'm off in about half an hour...wouldn't be against policy then, but right now, yeah, you could get me into a spot of trouble if you did," she said with a wink.

So, he wanted to buy her a drink. Please, God, don't have him be one of those wimpy nice guys looking for their match made in heaven. I'm not ready for one of those yet...just get me a good lay or, you know, a fuck buddy, for now, and we'll be good to go... she thought. It might've been a while since The Asshole had left, but Lynne still wasn't ready to put her heart out on the line. She didn't want to hurt anyone else because of her own insecurity and ego burns, though.
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PostSubject: Re: Is anybody out there? Hello, alone [open]   Sun Jun 22, 2008 2:00 pm

"I'm off in about half an hour...wouldn't be against policy then, but right now, yeah, you could get me into a spot of trouble if you did," she said with a wink

"Half an hour then... I think I can wait," he said. He couldn't help but think that that wink was the sexiest thing he'd seen in quite some time. He took a sip of his drink to calm himself down, and thought that he had better slow down. He'd already finished one drink in 20 minutes, he didn't want to rush himself and be drunk before she got off of work.

"Thirteen hour days?" he said after a pause. "That sounds a bit rough. What d'you do to relax?" he added, his flirty smile back on his face.
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rockinthehd
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PostSubject: Re: Is anybody out there? Hello, alone [open]   Sun Jun 22, 2008 2:06 pm

"Half an hour then... I think I can wait."

Lynne smiled back at him. "I'd like it if you did," she offered sheepishly. She was a little rusty when it came to flirting but looking flattered and shy seemed to work pretty well on most men, especially when coupled with a few winks, smiles, and the right tone of voice. She hoped it'd work on Owen. Knowing next to nothing of substance about him could either work for or against her cause.

"Thirteen hour days?" he said after a pause. "That sounds a bit rough."

Lynne nodded. "It's a bit rough, yeah...two jobs'll do that to a person," she said.

"What d'you do to relax?"

And there was her opportunity to couple the sheepishness with something a little more blunt and forward.

She smirked at him and leaned a little closer so she would still be heard when she lowered her voice. "What do I do to relax or what would I prefer to do to relax?" she asked, wetting her lips again as she looked back at him.
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PostSubject: Re: Is anybody out there? Hello, alone [open]   Sun Jun 22, 2008 4:27 pm

"What do I do to relax or what would I prefer to do to relax?" she asked, wetting her lips again as she looked back at him.

Well, well. She wasn't as shy as she seemed, after all. Owen took another sip of his drink to calm himself down again. No sense getting overexcited when he still had to wait. God, was she making this torture for him, every little thing that this woman did was just plain sexy. He needed to regain control of this situation, but the alcohol and her body language were determined to keep him from getting the upper hand.

"How about," he said, staring straight into those gorgeous eyes again, "you tell me what you'd like to do to relax tonight." He flashed her his most mischievous grin.
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rockinthehd
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PostSubject: Re: Is anybody out there? Hello, alone [open]   Sun Jun 22, 2008 4:52 pm

"How about," he said, staring straight into those gorgeous eyes again, "you tell me what you'd like to do to relax tonight."

Owen flashed Lynne a mischievous grin then and suddenly, she was pretty certain the deal was sealed and he didn't seem to be looking for dinner and a movie, which was a good thing, because while she wouldn't mind having him around for more than a one-night stand, she wasn't ready to delve into a new relationship. The wounds were still fairly fresh. Had The Asshole been just a boyfriend, it would've been different, but they'd been engaged and he'd left her after convincing her to move an entire ocean away from her whole family. That had hurt more than she wanted to admit.

Lynne grinned back at him. "Oh, I don't know, Owen..." she said slyly. "I could tell you, but then it wouldn't be as much fun showing you." She winked at him again and then held up one finger to him - hold that thought - as the drunken college girls started shouting at her for more liquor.

Rolling her eyes, Lynne gave Owen an apologetic glance. Way to ruin the moment, you wretched beasts, she thought savagely toward the girls as she made her way over to them.
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PostSubject: Re: Is anybody out there? Hello, alone [open]   Sun Jun 22, 2008 5:10 pm

Looked like Owen was out of the clear for the date thing. A shag, on the other hand, was almost a guarantee after her little remark. He allowed himself a small, victorious grin and Lynne helped the hammered college girls with their liquor shortage.

He looked down at his watch. 'Hurry up!' he yelled silently at it. He looked up and saw that crowd was growing thicker. Most of the patrons appeared to be students at Uni. Taking another sip of his drink, Owen noticed Lynna had finished with the uni girls at was moving back towards him, smiling apologetically at him.

"Fun job, eh?" he said, smiling at her again. 'Jeeze,' he thought to himself, 'I never smile this much.' Ah well, it appeared to be working, so he kept at it.
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PostSubject: Re: Is anybody out there? Hello, alone [open]   Sun Jun 22, 2008 5:16 pm

Lynne laughed. "Don't hurt yourself, chief," she joked noting the blinding smile that didn't seem to be going anywhere. Until tonight she'd actually never seen Owen smile. Not even when he was escorting some inebriated young thing out. She winked again and grinned, tongue poking ever so slightly between her teeth.

She rested her elbows on the bar and leaned down. "I hate this job, actually, but it pays the bills, so I can't complain too much," she said. She found herself giving her watch a furtive glance. Fifteen minutes...that went fast...

"On the topic of previous discussion, what do you do to relax? I've seen you in here a lot and you usually look like you haven't slept in days. Whatever you do for a living must be rough, huh?"
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PostSubject: Re: Is anybody out there? Hello, alone [open]   Sun Jun 22, 2008 5:41 pm

"Don't hurt yourself, chief,"

Owen stopped smiling and looked at her, a bit confused and a little embarrassed. He looked sheepishly down at his drink. 'Brilliant, Owen' he thought to himself.

She was kind enough to change the subject quickly.

"On the topic of previous discussion, what do you do to relax? I've seen you in here a lot and you usually look like you haven't slept in days. Whatever you do for a living must be rough, huh?"

"I don't usually get time to relax, darling," he said, "Work and all." He topped this off with the best 'Woe is me' face he could muster. He couldn't hold it and ended up laughing at himself. "But really, this is it. I usually just have a drink with my mates." She said she'd seen him before, did she notice what he usually does when he goes into that bar alone? he wondered. He tried not to think about that as he took another sip of his drink.
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rockinthehd
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PostSubject: Re: Is anybody out there? Hello, alone [open]   Sun Jun 22, 2008 5:46 pm

Lynne laughed a little at the way his face fell and he looked down at his drink, embarrassed. That was even cuter than the smile, actually, and she made a mental note if he ever talked to her again after tonight to make a point of poking at him in the future just to see that look again.

"I don't usually get time to relax, darling," he said, "Work and all." He topped this off with the best 'Woe is me' face he could muster.

Lynne, to her credit, tried her best to pout sympathetically back at him, but when he cracked and started to laugh, she couldn't help giggling right along with him.

"But really, this is it. I usually just have a drink with my mates."

Lifting her chin slightly and looking back at him with mock suspicion, Lynne arched an eyebrow. "Must have an awful lot of mates..." she joked. "To answer your question from before a little more honestly, I usually curl up with a good book or veg in front of the television...if I'm not sleeping, which more often than not, I am," she said, moving the conversation along as smoothly as she could so as not to make him think she was being accusatory. It wasn't as if Lynne hadn't had her fair share of one-night stands; she couldn't exactly fault him for doing the same.
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PostSubject: Re: Is anybody out there? Hello, alone [open]   Sun Jun 22, 2008 6:00 pm

Owen was infinitely glad that Lynne had gone along with his mock woe. However, he panicked a bit when she noted his 'awful lot of mates.' She tried to move the conversation along quickly, for which he was grateful, but the point had been made. He tried to shrug it off, everyone had one-night-stands, right? Just because Owen hadn't been in a real, lasting relationship in four years, ever since Katie...

He took another drink to drown that thought out of his head. This was neither the time nor the place to be thinking about her.

He looked back up at those beautiful eyes. "Sleeping," he remarked, "Yeah, I'm a fan of that." He smiled softly at her, appreciating the humor.
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PostSubject: Re: Is anybody out there? Hello, alone [open]   Sun Jun 22, 2008 6:17 pm

Something in Owen's face changed - a brief darkness flashing in his eyes that looked a little more like the Owen she was used to seeing moping at her bar. She instantly regretted the poke at the many different girls he took home. She hadn't meant it to make him feel bad.

At that moment, something occurred to Lynne. She hadn't actually seen him take any girls home lately. He'd been coming in with another one of the regulars, or else by himself. She wondered suddenly if he was putting her on - if he wasn't actually single at all - and her heart dropped.

Sleeping," he remarked, "Yeah, I'm a fan of that."

"Me too," she replied, smiling gently back at him. "I've gone and killed it, haven't I?" she asked, crinkling her nose and allowing her smile to morph into a frown. "I always do that..." she sighed. "My shift's up in five minutes. You've got that long to change your mind and head out before I'm holding you to that drink. Now's the window for your get-out-of-jail-free card," she said a little sadly. It was only fair...it looked as though she'd made him feel bad about something and she wanted to give him a fair chance to back out.
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PostSubject: Re: Is anybody out there? Hello, alone [open]   Sun Jun 22, 2008 6:26 pm

"I've gone and killed it, haven't I?" she asked, crinkling her nose and allowing her smile to morph into a frown. "I always do that..." she sighed. "My shift's up in five minutes. You've got that long to change your mind and head out before I'm holding you to that drink. Now's the window for your get-out-of-jail-free card,"

"Hey," he said softly, though no longer flirty, "I said I'd buy you a drink, and I will." He smiled sadly at her, no longer in the mood for that shag, but still not wanting to give up the idea entirely. He tried to reinforce his smile as he added, "Five minutes, you say? Time sure flies, eh?" He added a small chuckle in an effort to drive the point home.
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PostSubject: Re: Is anybody out there? Hello, alone [open]   Sun Jun 22, 2008 6:37 pm

"I said I'd buy you a drink, and I will."

Lynne smiled back at him. She had to bite back a 'don't do me any favors...' because maybe she hadn't completely mucked it up, after all, if he wasn't going to take his chance to head out. "Not here," she said suddenly. "I hate this place...I'd rather go somewhere else, honestly," she explained. "It's not really the same getting a drink with a good looking guy if it's still technically at work," she added looking up at him through her eyelashes. Maybe she could save it.

Five minutes, you say? Time sure flies, eh?"

"Yeah, with good conversation, it does," she admitted, tucking her hair behind her ears before leaning forward, elbows on the bar again.

For all the times Owen and the other regulars had been in, this was the first time any of them had even so much as given her the time of day much less converse with her and stick around waiting for her to get off. She paused and grinned a little mischievously at him. "Time out...I just gave you a completely free pass to run away and you still want to buy me a drink? Does that mean...we can still..." she paused again and cleared her thoat. "Relax...together after?" she ventured, smirking as she quirked her eyebrows at him.

Hey, it was worth a try. The worst he'd say was no, anyway, and even if that would completely suck and bomb out the high of the past twenty five minutes, she'd live.
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