I recognise him almost immediately, though, I was momentarily thrown at first, but his eyes gave him away, that piercing sky blue stare that gripped me from that first moment we met. He has also kept his dark, jet black hair, cut to a short style with some length on top with his fringe falling a little into his eyes. His mask covers the top half of his face to his nose just leaving his jaw is exposed and he is clean shaven.
But otherwise he looks so different, it's hard to believe he is the same guy. He has filled out so much, that the skinny lad he once was, is lost to a trim muscular build that any woman would fall on her knees for. The things his body does to that suit, leave me feeling faint. It also, stirs urges that are, unfamiliar and completely inappropriate, when thinking of a friend .
Then he laughed, and I knew, he was still ‘my’ Drake. The thrill that ran through my body when we locked eyes, was like nothing I’d ever experienced. A mixture of pure excitement and nervousness, all in one.
At first, I thought throwing myself into his arms might have been a step too far, but then he put his arms around me. The electricity I felt shoot through me, at his touch, was amazing and it dazed me a little. Pulling back, I realise he is mute, and a need to tease him washes over me. I make sure to smile, so he knows I’m teasing, and I am rewarded by his returning smile and his laugh which causes me to join him.
“You haven't changed at all, Lilli. By the God’s, I've missed your humour. How have you been?”
Hearing my name on his lips makes all sorts of sensations run through me.
“I’ve been good.”
I reply, giving nothing else away about my past, that's a conversation best left unspoken, I don’t like to think about my time away at the Royal Academy and since Drake has no idea that I am royalty I will keep it to myself, for now.
“But I have to say Drake, where have you been hiding those muscles, I almost didn't recognise you.”
He smiles, clearly knowing what I mean.
“Ah well, the last couple years I've had a job at a local club as a doorman and bouncer. So naturally working out at the gym, became a necessary part of my job. In fact, these two troublemakers, work there with me.”
He points at two guys standing near him, who are looking a bit dumbfounded by the conversation, but they are clearly interested in me, I decide not to tease them too much, for now, at least until I know them a little better.
I say, turning my attention to them as I take a step back out of Drake’s arms.
“Well then boys, it’s nice to meet you, I’m Lilli.”
They look startled, but quickly try to hide it, by introducing themselves as Rex and Tony.
“Did you all, start at the club, at the same time?”
I say looking at each of them in turn.
“Nah, not really.”
It’s Rex, who is first to find his voice.
“Drake got the job and mentioned to us that it was a good gig, so we met with Max, the owner and he hired all of us. Although you can say it's a serious job, we still get to have a lot of fun”
Clearly, he is happy about this, because he becomes very animated, while describing the job and the different things that happen each night. He doesn't leave much space for the rest of us to talk and it’s amusing. I also find his energy infectious, and he clearly takes pride in his appearance.
He has crazy styled red hair that is spiked in multiple directions and deep hazel eyes that, are warm and friendly. But there is an edge in them, which I can tell will settle any troublemaker. Soon though, I start to feel the need to dance.
“Give it a rest Rex, she isn't here to listen to you talk about work.”
“I’m gonna see if I can get a drink, anyone else want one?”
We all answer at once, which makes us start laughing.
Tony has dark brown hair and blue eyes, not as startling a shade as Drake’s, they are deeper with a look of mischief in them, all three men are well built and muscular which adds to the, no nonsense image they must project, when they work each night.
Tony, deciding he will need a hand to carry four drinks, drags Rex off with him to the bar, leaving me and Drake alone to talk. I smile and think to myself that Tony seems quite perceptive of certain situations, and turn to Drake, catching him in the act of staring he smiles at me when our eyes meet.
“Well as first introductions go, I think that went well. So, what’s you're impression of them so far?”
He wants my approval of his friends. Why? Does he really think I couldn't like them? Or wouldn't approve?
I look into his eyes and I realise, he is worried that I won't get along with them, and that it means a lot to him, that we do get along. I smile to reassure him.
“I think they are great guys; I really do like them. How long have you been friends for?”
The visible relief I see wash over him shocks me; I didn't realise this was as serious as that.
“That's great! I became friends with them not long after we graduated school.”
He is positively beaming from ear to ear as, Rex and Tony return with the drinks and I retrieve mine, then excuse myself. I want to have a word with a certain DJ about some music, it’s time to liven up this party and get people moving their bodies instead of just their lips.