Outwitting the Fox Ch. 02bykitten101©
"Alright who's smart ass idea was this?" Alexia Devon asked as she surveyed the crowded strip club.
Jess took a good look at the three girls she had entered the club with.
The woman next to her, Max, tossed her wild inky black hair over her shoulder and led the way to the clear table she'd spotted near the front. Jess's boss Gabriel had taken one look at Max and instantly fallen head over heels, and she had done the same. Of course they told the story a little differently. Jess knew the truth though - they were made for each other.
"The original idea was Jess's but we leapt on the bandwagon pretty quickly," Max confessed.
Alexia had gorgeous long dark hair, which flashed red whenever the spotlights hit it. She was taller than Jess -- but then all the women were.
Alexia was curvy, exotic and as quick-tempered and stubborn as the flashes in her hair suggested. She was also a member of the royal family, and a member of the Theris bloodline - the family who had staged a bloody and ultimately failed uprising against the royal Devon's.
Alexia was banished from her home country and put under the guardianship and old tiger called Jeremy, and more recently Rider, when her dual heritage was found out.
Of course you'd never guess that from the way she was waving fake strip club money at the gyrating G string on stage...
"I guess you could call it a joint birthday effort - Alex, put the fistful of cash back in your pocket. We've only been here 30 seconds, you need to pace yourself." Sabeen said, ever the voice of reason.
She looked vaguely uncomfortable in the press of screaming women. Sabeen wasn't really into this sort of thing, but once she'd caught a glimpse of the toned and tanned man writhing on the stage she had announced to the group that it probably wasn't going to be as awful as she had imagined.
Sabeen was the tallest of the four of them, and the most athletic. She came off as the cool voice of reason in the group, but they were all aware that Sabeen was the most likely to rip someone's throat out if they happened to threaten her or any of the people under her protection. She was pretty much the reason Alexia was allowed to be in the city without a disguise and an armed guard.
Jess grinned and relaxed into her chair, being with the girls just made her happy. They worked together, and lived together out of necessity, but in reality she couldn't imagine a better group of people to be visiting a seedy male strip club with.
The guys had given them an hour before they were due to meet at a club of Alex's choice. Jess and the girls intended for Alexia to get her money's worth in that time.
Slipping out of her chair Jess headed for the bar with the drinks order. She leaned over the counter, displaying just enough cleavage to get the bartenders attention, and placed her order, along with her request.
The man behind the bar regarded the firecracker of a woman in front of him before ginning and nodding.
"It's going to cost you though sweetie."
Jess smiled in triumph as he presented his cheek, and she planted a kiss on it. She wouldn't have minded giving him a little more for his trouble, but he was on duty, and she was here for Alexia, not her own fun.
"Thanks, it'll mean a lot to her... right after she gets over how furious she is with us all I'm sure."
Two hilarious lap dances later the girls lead an embarrassed (and broke) Alexia out into the night to meet the guys.
"I really can't believe you did that you little wench!" Alexia exclaimed after Jess had confessed to setting her up.
"Neither can I -- would it have killed you to set one up for the rest of us too?" Max giggled.
The girls entered the bar selected by the guys, and were immediately assaulted by the pounding music. The place wasn't too full yet, so it was still possible to have a conversation. The guys had snagged a booth up on the balcony, and the girls started up the stairs to meet them.
"Oh stop complaining, you've got Gabriel wound around your little finger -- He'd do it in a second for you if you asked." Jess replied.
"True. Although that first guy's ass was pretty spectacular." Max mused.
Gabriel appeared in front of them, trying his best to scowl fiercely.
"Boy I hope you didn't just say what I think you just said." Gabriel murmured as he hauled Max into his body, nuzzling his lips into the side of her neck.
"Do I need to re-claim my territory?" He asked nipping at her skin and causing Max to twist out of his grip giggling.
He half turned to the side to reveal the corner booth the guys had claimed.
Rider stood to make room for Jess to slide into the booth. At the same time he gave Alexis a once over, taking in her sexed up outfit, and sent her a feral grin.
Alexis licked her lips and swayed her hips to the beat. "Dance with me Rider? Please?"
Rider usually wouldn't have agreed to dance but she was making it hard to say no, besides it was her birthday. He sighed and lunged forward to, pick up Alex and sling her over his shoulder in a casual fireman's carry down to the dance floor.
Jess watched with a grin as her friends pared off and reacquainted themselves with their partners. You'd think they'd all been away from each other for a week rather than a couple of hours.
Sabeen and Marcus ended up at the bar, doing shots together and joking around with Grey and Michael, who were playing pool. Max, Gabriel, Alexis and Rider danced most of the night on the tacky flashing light floor.
Jess had a few drinks with Marcus and Sabeen, and danced a bit with Gabriel and Max. She didn't stay with them too long because the temperature was definitely rising on the dance floor, and she was feeling a bit like a third wheel.
Back at the bar she took a stool and looked around for Finn. He was doing his best to chat up a pretty blonde. She was having none of it, and eventually he gave up, leaving her to her friends and beer.
Catching sight of Jess, grinning at his failure, Finn jogged over trying to look annoyed at her amusement. He teased her by grabbing her by the shoulders, leaning her back over her chair and shaking her slightly.
"You're not laughing at me now are you?" He grinned setting her back upright on her stool.
"Course not. I was laughing at her expression of disgust as you tried to use your manly wiles on her." Jess said, taking a sip of her beer.
Finn tried to pull off a hurt expression, and failed miserably.
"Well sweetcheeks lets see you do any better..." He cast his glance around the room for a moment before he found a victim. "That one."
"Nope. He's too big. And a biker. And 50. Also the giant bushy beard hanging from his chin is a little off putting." She wrinkled her nose at the thought of kissing him.
"Picky picky..." Finn grinned down at her from his own bar stool.
Jess felt her heart catch in her chest and scowled, it really annoyed her when he made her insides go all gooey and melty. Finn was off limits, what about that didn't she understand? She broke eye contact and cast around for an easy mark herself.
Clearly she needed to get laid, and clearly Finn had no taste when it came to picking kissable guys.
"That one." She said definitively eyeing up the tall figure throwing back a shot of tequila.
She didn't bother waiting for Finns comments, instead she slid herself off the bar stool and sauntered over to the man at the other end of the bar.
Finn shouted something about being joking, but she ignored him.
"Hello there, I'm Jess."
She smiled flirtatiously at the man she'd set her sights on and slid herself into a bar stool. The man looked down at her in surprise. He had absolutely no idea how he'd come across such good fortune but he sure wasn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth.
"I'm Sam, can I buy you a drink?"
Jess assessed the man before her. He was too tall. Taller than Finn. Darker than him too.
Even when she was trying to pick up a stranger in a bar she couldn't get Finn out of her head. Jess turned to look back over her shoulder at Finn. It must have been her imagination, but she could have sworn he flashed her a hurt look. With an annoyed puff of breath she decided the man across from her would do.
"I'll take a shot of whatever you're having next thanks."
A couple of hours later Finn was still staring over at Jess, who was perched up on a bar stool next to a total tool.
The guy - Finn had named him W for Wanker - was way too tall for her. Worse yet the ass had brought her so much alcohol she was swaying in her seat. She flashed a seductive smile at the man and then took a quick glance over her shoulder at Finn.
It was almost as if she was saying to him 'see, I don't need you, and I'll never want you.'
The thought upset Finn greatly. It was nice being friends with her, but having to sit back and play nice while she threw herself at other guys made him want to howl in frustration.
Glancing over again he saw W's had land on the foxes knee. She did nothing to move it.
Finn saw red.
"Screw it. Give me a beer. And a scotch on the rocks. Double." He ordered the woman behind the bar.
If he had to watch it he sure as fuck wasn't doing it sober.
An hour later Sabeen appeared at his elbow with a raised eyebrow and a disapproving scowl on her face.
"I thought you were sober driving tonight?"
Finn laughed humourlessly. "Clearly that went out the window."
He lifted a mock toast at Jess who was still fawning over W the wanker.
Finn wanted comfort, so he lifted Sabeen on to his lap and locked his arms around her waist.
Sabeen was long used to Finn, he was generally quite affectionate, more so when drunk. She took a quick moment to glance over at Marcus though, just in case. She didn't want him getting the wrong idea. Luckily he had known Finn longer than her, so understood completely.
"Poor Finn. I don't know why you just don't go out on a date and see how it goes."
"She's not interested, It would break the rule about sleeping with people you live with. And now we're friends. So it probably breaks that rule too."
"There's a rule about that?" Sabeen asked, she had no idea Jess was so strict about who she dated.
"There's a rule about everything to do with sex." Finn drained the last of his beer.
Sabeen suddenly realised that she'd been talking about dating while Finn seemed to only be talking about sleeping with Jess. "Wait, is that all you are after? Sex?"
"Of course not. Maybe. No. I don't know."
Finn drunkenly looked over at Jess again. usually just being friends was fine, he didn't like seeing her with other men though.
"Well if you're just out to screw her and dump her then maybe she's doing the right thing by staying away from you."
Sabeen slid off Finns lap.
"How do you know what she wants?"
Sabeen rolled her eyes at him, and knocked away his beer. "Come on then, I guess I'm driving you home. Marcus will have to drive the others."
For the first time in a few hours Finns eyes lit up with something close to glee.
"Oh good. I'll go help Jess say goodbye..."
At the other end of the bar Jess looked up to unexpectedly find herself face to face with Finn, rather than the man who had been buying her drinks all night. Thankfully she'd drank enough tequila to not be able to feel her pesky pounding heart.
Maybe that was the secret to getting Finn off her brain - she should stay drunk. Giggling at the thought she realised that Finn was still there staring at her and blocking her view to whatshisname. And her drink.
"What?" She demanded.
"Time to go." With that he swung her up off the seat and into his arms.
Jess struggled, but as usual her efforts were fairly ineffective. She could out-shoot anyone there, but Gabriel had laid down the law on taking weapons out drinking a few years back. 'You shoot someone by mistake once...' she thought with disgust.
"Put me down prince charming. Give me another few minutes."
"No can do sweet thing, I'm not the driver anymore."
He grinned down at her, blissfully unaware of how much she wanted to punch him in the balls.
"Ugh you're drunk. Put me down before you drop me."
"I won't drop you."
And he didn't. In fact, either he managed to make the ride bump free, or the booze had caught up with her because by the time they were at the car she was fast asleep.
Sabeen unlocked the car and grinned at the sight of Finn gently strapping Jess into a the back seat and repositioning her head comfortably on his shoulder.
"Don't say a word." Finn cautioned from the back.
"Wasn't going to." Sabeen buckled herself in and swung the car onto the road.
She genuinely wasn't going to say anything. Finn was right. She didn't know what Jess wanted and he had been there for her with impartial advice when she couldn't work out what she wanted with Marcus. The least she could do was return the favour.
Finn woke abruptly as the door closest to Jess was opened. The car wasn't moving anymore, and he couldn't see Sabeen anywhere.
Despite his fuzzy head he moved to guard the woman beside him growling ferally at the intruder. Whoever it was backed off from Jess quickly.
"All right then you can get her inside then." Marcus said from outside the car sounding slightly annoyed.
Finn felt a flash of guilt for his behaviour. He really shouldn't have had so much to drink, and despite the change in situation Marcus was still his alpha. And his friend.
"Sorry mate. I didn't recognise you."
"You're fine. Get her upstairs and into bed, She's had so much to drink that it would probably be counter productive to wake her up now."
"Yeah, sure thing." Finn agreed.
He untangled himself from his seat-belt and slid out of the car, carefully lifting Jess with him. Nudging the car door shut with his boot he negotiated his way into the house and up the stairs to the third floor.
He didn't even hesitate at her door, instead he carried her into his own room possessively.
He placed her on the bed, sliding her heels off before he covered her with a blanket. He kicked his own boots off clumsily before scooping up a pile of dirty washing to shove under his bed.
With his sense of cleanliness satisfied he discarded his shirt onto the overstuffed arm chair in the corner of the room and collapsed next to Jess on the bed.
The movement woke Jess and she turned over blinking hazily at him for a moment.
Recognising Finn she curled up at his side, attempting to both stop the room from spinning, and to share his body heat. He stroked her hair a few times before they both fell into a drunken slumber.