“Are you sure you don’t want to go back to the hotel and pick out something more…sexy?” Baldur asked, adjusting his tie in the vanity mirror as Sage stepped out of the car.
Sage looked down at the black, knee-length dress and sensible pumps. Her makeup was neutral; her hair was braided and wrapped around the back of her head in a bun. “What? It’s pretty, but still practical. I’m a professional, Baldur, I want to look like it.”
“She’s not going to let you in.”
Tal stepped out of the car in a purple mini-dress and black tights, brushing a few crumbs off the front as she did. “Come on, you guys. Let’s go do it.”
Tiffany squealed, bouncing up and down. Of the four of them she was the only one who looked like she belonged in the club scene, with a face of dark makeup and a tiny silver dress. “I’m so excited! I haven’t ever been someplace where everyone is dancing!”
“Chill out, short stop,” Baldur smirked, folding his arms and looking at her appreciatively. She grabbed Baldur’s wrist and dragged him towards the club, the other two trailing after them, heads held high and professional demeanor in place.
The door was staffed by the same bouncer as before and a line of twenty or so people waiting to get in. As they rounded the corner, he glanced at them, and then did a double-take. “You!” he called, pointing at them. “Come on!”
“Told you,” Sage said, taking a few steps forward.
“Not you, funeral!” he said, waving her off. “Silver! Come on!”
Tiffany pointed at herself and he nodded, gesturing her forward. The line groaned as she trotted over and planted a kiss on his cheek before turning to the others and calling, “I’ll see you inside!”
“Stee-rike one,” Baldur said, patting Sage on the shoulder as Tiffany disappeared. “Come on, let’s go stand in line.”
Sage frowned and followed him, going to the back of the line with him and Tal. She tapped the man in front of them on the shoulder. “How long have you been in line?”
“Gosh,” he said, turning around and running a hand over his thinning hair. “I’ve been trying to get in for maybe…two days?”
“Two days?!” He shrugged as he turned back around. Sage turned to look at the others, her face thunderous in its determination. “We are not coming back here. We’re getting in tonight.”
“What do you suggest we do?”
“Yeah,” Sage said, her eyes glinting in the glare of the streetlight. “You’ve got some cash, let’s bribe him!”
“Not enough for this joint! Tal’s got debit, why not make her bribe him?”
“There’s a hold on my account,” Tal said, remembering the embarrassment of being declined at the store earlier today. “I don’t know why. I’m trying to get it sorted out. Um…I could flirt with him? That might work.”
“Yeah, that might work. Go for it. Go!” Sage said with a glint in her eyes, giving Tal a small shove towards the bouncer. Tal laughed and fluffed her hair out to go over to him.
Sage had to hand it to her: Tal had flirting down to a science. She approached the bouncer with a smoky look in her eye, shrugging off her jacket as she did, revealing bare shoulders that were somehow sexier than if she’d flashed him. She stepped up to him and Sage couldn’t hear what she said, but after he replied, she giggled and slapped his chest. Sage saw her eyes widen as she felt the pecs bulging out below the tee shirt and wondered if this counted as a lie. The bouncer wrapped his arm around Tal’s waist as she leaned on her tip-toes and whispered something into his ear. He hooked a thumb towards the door and she smiled and nodded, but seemed to remember something and indicated Baldur and Sage. They waved, but the bouncer shook his head. Tal looked from her friends to the door and back again, biting her lip in concern. Sage huffed and crossed her arms, then waved her through. Tal sighed and went in.
“Shut up,” Sage spat, beginning to pace back and forth, her brow darkening with each step. “Okay. Okay. So…we tell him we’re on the list?”
“Maybe I can flirt with him?”
“He probably knows you’re gay.”
“We…we can beg?”
Baldur put his hand on her shoulder, stopping her with a mild look. “You don’t want to beg.”
Sage looked up at him, actual pain filling her voice. “Please don’t make me dress up like a club whore.”
He sighed, his face pitious. “The beauty standard is fucked. But in this instance…you need to stoop to her level. Sorry, kid. Go change.”
Sage let out the whiniest noise she could muster and her whole body slumped onto an s-shape, the body language of frustrated young adults everywhere. She glanced at Baldur to see if it worked in time to see him catch her elbow and drag her back to the car. He popped the trunk open and grabbed a paper bag, pulling out a super short dress and handing it to her. “Change in the back, I’ll stand guard.”
Sage glared at the tiny dress, with a choker collar and teardrop cutout between where her breasts would be, hoping that the sheer force of her hate for it would cause it to explode, but when it didn’t she released a loud noise of frustration and climbed into the backseat, slamming the door behind her. While she knocked around, shimmying out of the previous dress and trying to slink into the next one, Baldur slammed the trunk and sat on top of it, hunching his back, looking as scary as he could to prevent any peeping toms from ogling his prophet.
After several grunts and groans Sage stumbled out, barefoot and still a little frazzled. “Lace me?” she asked, turning and indicating the lace-up back of the black dress. “This thing is like a fucking ballet slipper.”
Baldur acquiesced, lacing the back up and tying a big bow on top. “There,” he said, turning her around and kneeling to help her slip into a pair of sky-high black t-straps.
Sage looked down at him, an ancient Norse god buckling her shoe, and made a noise halfway between a sigh and a laugh. “I bet this is the first time a god has kneeled before a mortal.”
“You need to brush up on your mythology.” Baldur stood after a moment, leaning around her to pluck the bobby pins from her bun and unbraid her hair. His face was so close to hers, she could trace each line under his eyes. He radiated warmth. His deft hands felt so comforting in her hair that she wanted to close her eyes and fall asleep right there, standing in the BluGirl parking lot at midnight. But then his hands were gone and her hair was a waterfall down her back, waved from the braid. He stepped back and indicated that she should spin around, and she did, watching as a smile crept onto his face.
“Look at you,” he murmured, taking her hands and imparting, with as much sincerity as he could, “You look great.”
“Because I’m dressed like a slut?”
“No. Because you’re smiling.”
This made her smile wider, and she ran to the club door, Baldur in tow. She reached it and opened her mouth to demand to be let in, but before she could say anything, the bouncer smirked. “Come on.”
And she was in.