The sugary syrup slithers from gravity, staining the clear glass. Ice clinks together, melting from the warm room. The minimal alcohol foams at the top, waiting to be sipped.
His calloused hand comes from behind, slipping across her exposed collarbone. The prickling of skin sends him the wrong signal.
"Hey sweetheart, how was work?" He murmurs against her loose hair, the other hand snaking around her waist.
The bass pulsates the entire bar, easing her into an anxious state. The amber lighting does nothing to soothe. She leans forward, being pinched against the counter from his heavy bulk.
He shouts something at the impeding crowd, yet she can't focus on anything but the rising bile from his touch.
Her hands attach themselves to his constricting band, nails embedding within the corded muscle.
"Please, Mason. You know how I feel about this." She speaks, breathing so harshly the garnish from her drink disappears behind the bar counter.
He loosens his grip, yet crowds her once again, both hands sliding down her denim clad thighs. She arches her back, kohl lined eyes widening.
"Bethy, I could give two fucks what people think. I can touch you however I want."
To an outsider, it seems like a couple about to get hot and heavy. Yet, to a trained eye, it's hard to miss the signs.
The too tight grip. The sad expand to her eye. The defensive arch to her back.
Beth stares at the bartender as Mason moves her hair aside to lick a path from her ear to the tendon joining her neck and shoulder.
She wills the woman to help, to save her from this hellish prison of her own doing. The woman takes a step.