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“Okay, Livvy. Whatever.”

Olivia hated when he called her Livvy. It was Olivia or Libby. Certainly never Livvy. Well, at least not to him.

Simon walked away laughing, thinking she was joking. She wasn’t joking. Simon was disturbing. There was definitely something off about him, but she could not put her finger on it. Time to end it, Olivia decided. But first, some drinks. Simon could wait.

After finally placing her drink order, she made her way back to her table with four tequila shots in one hand and two beer bottles in the other; her years of working as a bartender helping her with the delicate balancing act.

“Oh hey. Our server came by while you were at the bar, so we ordered with her, too,” Kiera said.

“Good! There’s no such thing as too much liquor. I think tonight’s looking like a good night for some tequila. Who’s in and who’s out?” Olivia asked, sitting down and pointing to the tequila shots she had placed on the table. “There’s something about today that makes me want to be hungover tomorrow.”

“Let’s do it,” Melanie replied, laughing.

“Yup, although I know I’m going to regret this in the morning,” Bridget said, grabbing her tequila shot.

“Wait, where’s the lime and salt?” Kiera asked.

“That shit’s for pussies.” Olivia held up her shot glass. The girls followed suit. “Here’s to you. Here’s to me. Friends for life we’ll always be. If we should ever disagree, fuck you. Here’s to me.” The friends clinked glasses and gulped the shot back. The silver liquid burned as it went down Olivia’s throat. She felt the warmth in her stomach and immediately started to relax.

“Well, at least you ordered good tequila or I’d be heaving already,” Bridget said.

“Nothing but the best for me. Life is too short to waste it on shitty alcohol.”

“You should make a tee shirt with that saying on it,” Kiera choked out with tears in her eyes, clearly having trouble stomaching the tequila.

“It’s going to be a good night, I can tell.”

~~~~~~~~~~

“I need to use the little girls room,” Olivia said several hours later, standing from their table. She headed to the bathroom only to be met with a line snaking around the long corridor. Scowling, she decided to go to the second floor to see whether that line was any better. Olivia climbed up the stairs, which proved to be slightly more challenging than usual, owing to her chunky heels and the drinks she had consumed. She made her way down the dark back hallway, thankful to see no line at the ladies’ room. When she finished up and exited, someone grabbed her arm, pushing her against the wall.

“You’ve been ignoring me all night,” Simon breathed, using his body to crush Olivia’s to the wall, pinning both arms on either side of her head with his hands.

“I haven’t been ignoring you. I’ve been spending some time with my friends. Get off me so I can go back to them,” Olivia replied forcefully, trying to hide the fact that, in all actuality, she was rather frightened. Simon had never been that aggressive with her before.

As she stood there in his grasp, she silently hoped someone would come to use the restroom soon so that Simon would let her go. She was not sure if she should tell him that she was done with him, given her current predicament.

Simon kept her pinned to the wall for what seemed like an eternity as he looked down on her, licking his lips like an animal stalking his prey.

“Simon, please,” Olivia begged, terror flashing in her big brown eyes.

“Oh, Livvy. You really are beautiful when you beg.” He planted rough kisses against her jaw line, grinding his hips against hers as he crushed her against the wall.

“Simon, I’m not going to ask you again. Please, let me go.” Olivia closed her eyes, not wanting to look into his eyes anymore. She tried to free herself from his grasp, to no avail. He was definitely much stronger than her.

“What’s going on here?” a familiar, deep voice broke through. Olivia opened her eyes looking for the source of the voice. A wave of relief washed over her.

“Simon, please,” Olivia whispered, glaring at him, her vindication returning.

“Fine. Stupid whore.” He released her and stumbled down the hallway onto the dance floor.

“We’re done, Simon,” she said, raising her voice so it was clear that it was over between them. He didn’t even turn around, but it was obvious he heard her when he raised his right hand and flipped Olivia off.

She let out a huge breath and turned to the source of the voice, staring into the dark eyes of one of her old college friends.

“Mo,” Olivia said.

“You picked a real winner this time, Livvy.”

Olivia usually hated when people call her Livvy, but Mo was the exception to the rule. The only other person who ever called her Livvy was her father and Mo reminded Olivia so much of him, right down to the name. Giacomo. Most of his friends called him Jack, but Olivia called him Mo.

“Yeah, I know.” Olivia walked over to Mo and into his arms, happy to see one of her oldest friends again. She felt a calming feeling as she stayed in his embrace, the memory of the night they met making her smile. Olivia worked at an area bar that his band played at. One evening, before the bar opened, she had finished her prep work early when she noticed that the band had already set up their gear. The bar was empty, so she stepped up to the piano and sang one of her favorite songs.

It was a song that reminded Olivia of her parents. Something about that moment made it seem like the right thing to do. Maybe her parents were looking down from above because, unbeknownst to her, Mo had been watching the performance. He was very impressed with her voice and asked her to sing a few songs with his band. She agreed, and throughout her years at Boston College, she always jumped on stage for a few numbers with the guys.

She hadn’t seen Mo since she graduated and fled Boston. Olivia pushed him away after graduation, just like she pushed away everyone she was close to. If you keep everyone at a distance, you can’t ever really lose them, she thought.

“It’s good to see you, Mo. Really good. It’s been too long.” She pulled out of Mo’s embrace and looked into his eyes, overwhelmed with a thousand emotions from seeing her dear friend once again.

“It has been too long. Five years, if I remember correctly.” He eyed Olivia, his eyebrows raised. She lowered her head, feeling guilty for never getting in touch with Mo once she came back to the city. And for cutting him out of her life in the first place. “I’m glad you’re back in Boston, but please stop dating assholes like that. You know I think of you like a little sister and the next guy that treats you like less than a princess, I’m going to have to kill him, and I really don’t want to go to prison right now. At least, not until the band performs tonight.” He winked at Olivia, their eyes nearly even from both of them being the same height.

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