Clubbing was not something Sage did often. It wasn’t even something he wanted to do, but Sasha and Bryan had dragged him out for Alice’s birthday – she was turning 21 and instead of planning a big birthday bash Sasha was dragging the four of them out to go club hopping. Thankfully Sage didn’t have to work this weekend – it would likely be a very trying one, almost worse than work itself. Not that he didn’t like his job, because he did.

They were on their third club of the night. Alice was damn near drunk but she’d pulled them to the front of the line and leaned on the bouncer. “It’s my birthday. Can you let the four of us in?” She batted her eye lashes, handed him her license as proof and he let them in. It was the second time that night Alice had cut the line using the same ploy.

The usually quiet and reserved girl had become brazen and outgoing with a few drinks. Now that she was almost plastered she was very not herself. Bryan was in charge of his girlfriend’s sister. He and Sasha watched her, it had been Sasha’s plan to hook Sage up with her sister but Alice wasn’t interested. And Sage didn’t blame her, not with all the other people out there on this nice Friday night. He’d danced with five separate people in the same span of time that Alice had been looking for ‘Mr. Right’. She wasn’t looking for a husband – she was looking for a good lay – or so that’s what she kept saying. And as much as Sage enjoyed sex, he was not going to have a one night stand with his best friend’s sister – much less sleep with her at all.

Sasha and Bryan had slipped off into the throng of bodies on the dance floor leaving Alice in Sage’s capable hands. Rather his line of sight. She was down at the end of the bar twirling her long, straight, blonde hair between two fingers while she waited for her next drink. Twenty-one was such a weird age. This wasn’t the first time Alice had gotten drunk and it wasn’t likely to be her last – but this was her first legal drink. It made all the difference in the world to every 21 year old in the country.

Sage’s beer arrived just as a tall man curled around Alice. The tips of his hair were dyed red and the eyeliner was thick around his eyes. Sage watched as he whispered into Alice’s ear and she smiled happily at whatever it was he was telling her. The man brought his hand to Alice’s drink and took a sip of it with a frown. He called the bartender over with a wave of his hand and Sage saw the nail color matched his hair as he ordered another drink.

Alice was intrigued with him, but Sage couldn’t take his eyes off him either. His smile was bright, there was a tattoo on his right temple, but Sage couldn’t make it out exactly. And a scar running down his left cheek which oddly enough didn’t detract from the overall beauty of his well done make up and his perfect smile.

The other man looked up when Alice nodded in his direction and Sage’s eyes met the other man’s gaze. Sage smile and sipped at his beer but he never broke eye contact. The other man grinned at him and whispered in Alice’s ear and they both walked to the edge of the dance floor before Alice put her arms around his neck. Her body moved against his like she’d found the one she wanted to enjoy the rest of her night with. They had forgotten all about him watching, or maybe they hadn’t and were putting on more of a show than necessary.

Sage watched Alice and her friend. It was the best friend in him that looked after Sasha’s sister, but he watched the other man just as much – probably more.

Sage was on his third beer when Sasha wrangled Alice away to the restroom. Bryan was no where to be seen and Alice’s friend walked over to him and leaned against the bar and ordered two beers. He smiled at Sage and Sage couldn’t help but return the smile. He asked, “Enjoying the show?”

Sage laughed. “I am.”

“She your girlfriend?”

Sage shook his head. “My best-friend’s sister. Just looking out for her.”

The man leaned on his elbow and handed Sage the second beer. “So you checking her out?”

Sage turned to look at the other man with a grin. “No.”

He smiled at Sage but the girls had returned. Sasha took the beer from Sage and sipped at it. Alice was whispering into her friend’s ear and the look on his face said that Alice had said something worth listening too. He handed Sage the beer and leaned in to whisper. Sage shivered with the proximity of this colorful man. “You can finish this. Maybe I’ll see you around.” Alice tugged at the man and they waded into the throng on the dance floor. Sage lost track of them in the darkness and was slightly disappointed as he sipped at the beer he’d been handed.

Sasha gave him a grin. “You wanted to hook up with him.”

Sage shook his head. “I don’t hook up. You know that. He’s pretty though.” Pretty wasn’t exactly the word he would have used, but it was all he was willing to share with Sasha on the subject of his fancies.

Sasha laughed. “Do you want to dance? Bryan’s playing pool.” She rolled her eyes – her boyfriend was always leaving her for a good game.

The rest of the night was spent in that club. Sasha and Sage danced to a few songs before Alice found them and pulled them off the dance floor to find Bryan. She had a stupid smile on her face and her friend was no where to be seen. When they found Bryan they had to wait for his game to finish before they could leave.

As they all stood around waiting, Alice curled up to Sage and put her head on his shoulder and looked up into his blue eyes. “He was so hot. Wasn’t he?”

Sage grinned. “He was. Did you have a good time?”

Alice nodded. “Yes. You should have joined us.”

Sage could feel his eyes widen in surprise but before he could say anything Alice’s eyes were closed and she was breathing heavily against him. Sage pulled her closer and held on tighter as she slept while standing up against him. It wasn’t the first time, and it probably wouldn’t be the last time. Sometimes he wondered who’s best friend he really was – Sasha’s or Alice’s.