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A Night Without You

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Emma slammed the shot glass down on the table and motioned for the bartender to pour her another. He shook his head and looked her over, wiping down the counter in front of her.

"No way, kid," he said.

"Oh, come on, Maurice. One more!" she slurred, but he shook his head again.

"No way."

She thought about throwing the glass at him, but even in her belligerent state, she knew it was a bad idea.

"So what's the matter with you tonight, missy?"

"Love, Maurice!" she said drunkenly. "Love."

"Oh, yeah? With your booze?"

She rolled her eyes and scoffed.

"No. With a beautiful brunette with chocolate eyes and soft-"

"Thanks. That's alright. I don't need to know."

Emma scowled at him and spun the shot glass on the table, knocking it over. The bartender snatched it from her and threw it into the pile of dirty dishes.

"Get a taxi and go home."

Emma shook her head.

"One more drink."

"Fat chance, little lady. It's not gonna happen."

She dropped her head on the counter and rested it on her arms, feeling her stomach flip as her vision started to blur and the room spun.

"At least go sit down out there and watch the show."

"I can't see," she giggled, lifting her head.

"You'll sober up a little soon. Go sit."

She sighed and stood up, stumbling away from the bar, finding a comfortable seat, and looking at the stage. Half-naked women danced around poles and began to strip themselves of clothing. Soon, they were topless, and Emma was staring with her mouth slightly open, a smile tugging at her lips. When one girl came near her, Emma whistled and grinned at her, noticing that the girl looked like the woman she loved. The girl straddled her lap, grinding her hips down, creating friction on Emma's jeans.

"You're drunk," the girl giggled.

"And you're beautiful."

When the lap dance was over, Emma slipped a few bills into the band of her panties. The girl made her way back to the stage slowly, leaning over slightly, showing off her ass as she grabbed onto the pole. Emma whistled again, and when the girl turned around, she winked at Emma, who was leaning back in her chair.

The night went on like that, until one in the morning, when the bar shut down after last call. She was still resentful of being denied her next drink, but she had no choice but to leave the club. Outside, she leaned against the brick wall of the building and looked around, noticing the lights of the city nearly blinding her in her drunken state. As she sobered up a little, she felt the hangover kicking in early. She groaned and let her head fall back against the bricks. She thought about calling a cab, knowing it was a terrible idea for her to walk around still as drunk as she was. Just as she was about to pull her cellphone out of her pocket to make the call, she heard a voice next to her and felt a hand on her arm.

"Hey, gorgeous."

Emma looked up at the stripper and smiled.

"Well, hello there," she slurred. "You were great tonight."

"Thanks, babe!"

"I wouldn't call me babe," Emma warned. "People might think you're trying to take me home."

With a wink, Emma looked down at her cellphone, noting the time. 1:21 am. Then she looked back up at the girl, who was still looking her over. Checking her out, really.

"Maybe I am."

Emma raised an eyebrow as the girl - who must have been at least five years younger - leaned in and pulled Emma closer.

"Kiss me," she said, her voice husky in Emma's ear.

When they kissed, the girl could taste the alcohol on Emma's lips and smiled.

"You are so drunk."

"Am not."

"Are too."

"Am not."

"Yes, you are. Now shut up and let me take you home."

Nearly forgetting her broken heart as the girl hailed a taxi, she leaned against her potential lover who helped her into the cab when it stopped in front of the curb.

Back at the girl's apartment, Emma was offered champagne, but declined.

"Too many bubbles," she mumbled, sitting down on the couch, leaning her head back against it, and shutting her eyes, making the girl laugh. "What's your name?"

"Star."

"Your real name," Emma giggled, shaking her head.

"I'm not telling you that."

Emma stood up and made her way to the kitchen where she picked up the glass of water the girl had poured for her and took a sip. When the girl looked away, Emma looked down at the counter and the pile of mail, smirking. The letters were addressed to Ashlyn McLoughlin.

"Ashlyn," Emma said out loud with a grin. "That's a pretty name. I like it."

"Fucker," Ashlyn cursed, glaring at her, but she couldn't stop the small smile that tugged at her lips.

Emma walked over to her and took her hands, pulling her closer into a kiss. The kiss turned into groping, and groping turned into sex. As she closed her eyes while they fucked, Emma pictured her former lover.