HUCK:The Montana BrothersBy: Alison Ryan
“Whiskey is sunlight held together by water,” the bartender said as he slid me a glass of Maker’s across the weathered bar.
“Is it now?” I asked, as I took it all down in one gulp. The burn of it sliding down my throat was a welcome reprieve. It made me feel something other than the pain that brewed in my heart and in the marrow of my bones.
I’d shown up in this tiny-ass town and in this tiny-ass bar about 20 minutes ago after driving for almost 2 days; away from Kentucky and all that was in my past.
I wasn’t interested in ever going back, either. So I’d driven until the money ran out, which ended up being when I hit Whitmer, Montana.
Google Maps didn’t even have it on its app if that tells you anything.
I’d checked into a Traveler’s Inn right off the freeway exit. After getting my car unloaded, I noticed the bar across the street. The Side Pocket is what the rusted sign said. I didn’t much care about what it was called, but I had to admit it was a clever name.
But I wasn’t here to play pool. I was here to get blazing drunk. I wanted to wake up tomorrow with no memory of anything before this very night. I wondered if the bartender had anything with that kind of potency and magic on his drink list.
“Just so you know,” the bartender said, leaning in. “If you’re here for ‘Shitfaced Mondays’, we had to cancel them. On account of all the fights over pretty little things like you. So go easy on that Maker’s, darlin’. It’s full price after that one. But the first one’s always on me.” He grinned.
“Well, thanks,” I said. “I’ll have another.”
“What the pretty girl wants, the pretty girl gets,” the bartender said, as he walked to the other end of the bar and pulled out another glass. He was an older man, handsome. He kind of reminded me of Sam Elliott in the movie Road House.
As a matter of fact, this whole bar kind of reminded me of that movie.
Large, burly, dangerous-looking men surrounded the bar and the tables sprinkled around the room. Women in short skirts and tight shirts paraded around, shaking their asses in exaggerated fashion, hoping to catch the eye of a man who would show them a good time later on.
Sexual tension hung in the air. I could reach out and touch it.
The thought of going home with one of these men and getting fucked wasn’t the most unappealing thing I’d ever considered. I wasn’t usually a girl who did the one-night stand thing. But part of this journey was me getting rid of everything about my old life.
So if that meant going home with one of these rugged strangers tonight and letting him do whatever he wanted to my body? So be it.
I could feel eyes on me as I gulped down my second Maker’s. I hadn’t drunk like this in a very long time, so I knew it wouldn’t take long for me to be loaded. I wanted to lose complete control of myself and just allow my destiny to take over.
I was tired of having to think.
Suddenly, I felt the presence of a man next to me. Before turning to look at him, his essence hit my nostrils. He smelled like the woods- like fresh grass and hard work.
When I finally laid my eyes on him, I almost gasped.
He was fucking gorgeous.
Not just the typical tall, dark and handsome, though he was all of those things. He had dark brown hair and a square jaw that was covered in stubble. His eyes were brooding and looked a little angry in the dim lighting that was all around the bar. He wore just a simple black t-shirt, a tattoo peeking out from the left sleeve. His arms were ropey and thick. He was all muscle and I imagined leaning into him would make me feel safe and protected. This man was walking granite; a wall of sex.
I wanted him to talk to me. I needed to know if his voice was how I imagined it would be. Deep. Like it came from the bottom of a well.
“Another drink for the pretty girl!” the bartender said, placing a glass in front of me. “Want to start a tab?”
I looked at him, suddenly out of the trance the handsome stranger had put me in. “Tab? Yeah. Sure. Let me find my credit card.”
I slid my purse around from my shoulder to my lap to dig through and find my American Express.
“I see you met Huck,” the bartender replied. I looked at him, confused.