Trinity composed herself, taking a deep breath as she rushed out of the bathroom and headed back to the dance floor to find Ben. No doubt he was dancing again, or looking for her. She wanted to believe that he would have noticed her absence the moment she left and would go looking for her, not having a good time unless she was there. She was silly to think such a thing. That was something a boyfriend did…And Ben was clearly not her boyfriend.
“Ben!” Trin tried calling over the music, cupping her hands around her mouth as she looked around for his tousled brown hair and white gleaming smile. He was no longer at the bar, so he had to be around there somewhere. The blinding lights played across her vision, causing her to squint as she looked down and then back up again, standing on the tips of her toes to get a better view.
She jumped as she felt a hand skim the bottom of leg, traveling up slowly to her hip as she laughed lightly. Ben was being unusually forward tonight, but she knew it was just the alcohol talking. In reality, he probably would have been almost too embarrassed to act this way towards her. Awkward situations were never a good thing between the two of them, and they tried to avoid them as often as possible.
She smacked the hand away with a grin and spun around, expecting to see Ben chuckling her at her reaction with his shining green eyes and witty smirk. Trinity stopped dead in her tracks, taking a step back with wide eyes at the stranger in front of her who was definitely not her best friend. The man looked around twenty-five, with a rugged face and long black hair in a ponytail at the nape of his neck. He towered over her with a muscular frame that frightened and intimidated her. The only thing screaming in her mind was telling her to run away as fast as she could to Ben, but she was frozen.
“C’mon, darlin’, don’t be like that. I’m just here to have a little fun…” He grinned a toothy smile as he moved towards her and tried pushing her up against a wall, his hand skimming her bottom of her dress.
“Let go of me!” Trin yelled, trying to cause a scene to gain the attention of people around her. Unfortunately the music was much too loud and everyone was preoccupied with the buzz of alcohol in their veins and their groups and partners. She worked to shove the man off of her, but he wouldn’t budge. Screaming Ben’s name over and over, Trinity clawed and kicked the rough man in front of her, him biting her neck as she winced from the pain. She moved to kick him where she knew it was hurt the most, when he was ripped off of her and thrown onto the ground, grunting in pain as he hit the hard floor and his bleeding lip where her rescuer and more than likely punched him before throwing him down.
“Any way in hell you touch her again, you won’t see daylight again, you got it?” Ben threatened through clenched teeth, throwing a murderous look at the man that even scared Trinity. She had never seen Ben so angry in her life, and the thought scared her. He never got mad over anything. She couldn’t even recall a time he had even glared at anyone. Ben was always just in a good mood. Sure, he was clearly drunk out of his mind, but Trin was just grateful that it only had taken one punch to put that man on the ground and away from her.
The man staggered back, wiping his mouth as he grunted in annoyance and moved away to presumably find his next victim, Trin could only guess.
“Are you okay?” Ben asked with a softness in his voice she knew he only reserved for her, his eyes shining with a touch of fear. Trinity had tears in her eyes as she faintly nodded, biting her lip from the horrible memory. She wanted nothing more than to shower—to wipe the man’s touch away from her so she could feel clean again. Ben moved his hand timidly to her neck, brush his fingertips along the bite marks and following down her shoulder to her arm, where the stranger had left red grip marks to hold her in place. No doubt there would be indistinct bruises there in the morning.
He pulled her into his arms and spun her around so that they were in the hallway, away from the scene of the dancing as he patted her back softly and whispered in her hair, “I know you’re not.”
Trinity cried into his shoulder, her tears soaking his shirt as he rubbed her back and rocked her back and forth. Ben had always been her anchor, the one person who could comfort her in a way her family and other friends could not. He knew just the right things to say in any given situation, and most of the time didn’t even have to say anything at all. She could rely on him for anything, and she often took that for granted.
Trin sniffed a few times before pulling away slightly to wipe her eyes and look up at Ben, the strong scent of alcohol burning her nose and causing her eyes to water more than they already were. She chuckled lightly, despite the moment. She hated having serious situations with her best friend, and wanted more than anything to go back to the fun time they had been having before. It was not fair of her to be clutching him in the hall like that, ruining his good time by sopping his nice black shirt with her tears. Hoping her makeup wasn’t messed up all too much, she smiled softly and quirked an eyebrow at him.
He shrugged his shoulders indifferently, staggering a little bit as he tried to keep from swaying. “I’m holding it down pretty well for a first-timer, don’t you think?” he slightly slurred, grinning at her in a way that she knew it was time to take him home. It was getting late anyway.
She laughed lightly and put an arm around his waist, leading him out of the hallway and towards the exit of the club. “C’mon, you. I’d better get you home. It’s already eleven anyway. You mind if I crash at your place?” Normally anybody she knew would have looked at her funny if she said that in front of them, but it was completely normal for her and Ben. They often slept over at each other’s houses on the weekends, when they went out and did something but they were too tired to drive home. They each even had a spare pair of clothes in each other’s rooms. It was an ordinary thing, they were so close.
“Do you even have to ask?”
Trin smiled to herself at his answer and led him to the parking lot where her car was parked. Why had she anticipated that he would be in the condition that he was then and there that night? Oh, right—because he’s her best friend and she knew him like she knew no one else.
Little did she know she was about to make a huge mistake…