Adrian stared at the red building. No one could accuse the bar of false advertising, that was for sure. Nope, Red's Shed definitely lived up to its name. Adrian gave his head a little shake, he hadn't come here to analyze the architecture; he'd come here to relax and forget about the humdrum of everyday life.
Suddenly, Adrian was jolted from his train of thoughts by the sound of a woman's voice coming from the area beside the barn.
As he rounded the corner, Adrian stopped in his tracks, the breath whooshing from his lungs. Before him stood the most alluring woman he had ever seen. He stared unabashedly, so completely entranced by her siren's song that he failed to notice the carbon copy of Hunter standing beside him.
He lost track of time, of how many songs the band played; all that existed was her. She must have finally felt the weight of his gaze because her eyes came to a rest on him. When those baby blues met his, Adrian's heart skipped a beat and a huge grin split his face.
The goddess gave him a teasing smirk before her attention returned to the guitar she was strumming.
"I swear she knows the effect she's having on me", thought Adrian.
Before he had time to dwell on that thought, the woman flourished her guitar in what was clearly a grand finale.
A little while later, Adrian found himself at the bar with Hunter. He'd lost track of the woman in the post-show chaos, but Adrian was going to find out who Hunter's attractive bandmate was if it killed him.
"So what'd you think of the show?" asked Hunter.
"You guys were great." Adrian hadn't really been paying much attention to anything besides the mystery woman.
"Really? My brother said you were so completely under Shae's spell, you wouldn't have noticed if we sounded like a bunch of braying donkeys." Hunter replied, raising an eyebrow.
Adrian blushed. Why did he suddenly feel like he was back in high school again?
Hunter laughed. "Don't be embarrassed, Shae tends to have that effect on guys."
"So, any idea where I could find her?" a slight hitch in Adrian's voice betraying his nonchalance.
"Well, she runs a tattoo parlor out of her house, so that'd be my guess." Hunter paused. "Maybe I shouldn't be the one telling you this, but Shae's not in the market for a casual fling. Her situation... Well, I won't go into details, but it's not ideal." he sighed. "What I'm trying to say is, you seem like a good guy and I consider you a friend, but unless you're really serious about the possibility of starting something with her, you'd both be better off if you just left Shae alone."
Adrian stared at his reflection in the mirror. After the serious talk he'd given him, Hunter had offered to buy the next round of drinks and Adrian had felt obliged to return the favor. He wasn't sure who'd bought the round after that, but he did have a fuzzy memory of the bartender informing them that it was closing time at some point.
Adrian looked at his watch, "Six a.m.?!" He really hoped most of the night had been spent at the bar and not here, passed out in the bathroom.
As he stumbled in the general direction of his bedroom Adrian's phone rang. Fumbling in his pocket, he did the only thing he could think of to silence the incessant screeching; he answered it.
"Yes." Adrian was beginning to think answering the phone had been a bad idea.
"This is Alice, the principal for Sarah Roth Memorial. We heard you'd recently moved to town and would love it if you could come and speak to the students in the Art Club about your work."
"That's great! I can't tell you how excited the kids will be, Mr. Dawson. I'll see you today at one o'clock then."
Adrian frowned at the dial tone in his ear. What had he just agreed to? Sighing, he climbed into bed and immediately fell into a deep sleep.
As Adrian made his way to the front gates of Sarah Roth Memorial later that day, he once again cursed himself for answering the phone while still drunk. Now he'd be giving a speech hungover.
After his talk with the art students, which had gone surprisingly well all things considered, Adrian had decided to stop by the address that Hunter had given him the other night. He had a feeling if he didn't do so now, he'd lose his nerve.
"This was a bad idea," thought Adrian after he'd rung the doorbell. "What kind of weirdo sees a girl at a concert and then goes to her home? She'll think I'm some kind of stalker."
He was just about to turn around and make a run for it when the door opened and Shae stepped outside.
"Yes?" she said, looking at him expectantly.
"Er, hi. I'm Adrian Dawson." Adrian stuck out his hand.
"Shae Sawyer." She took his hand. "What brings you to my doorstep this fine evening?"
Crap, what do I say?
Adrian hadn't thought this far ahead. Fumbling for a plausible excuse, he said the first thing that came to mind.
"I want to get a tattoo."