Kickstart My Heart (Burgers and Brew Crue #1) - Lacey Black
At exactly eleven o’clock, I slip a quarter into the old jukebox on the back wall. The bar is silent as they await tonight’s selection. My bar, my choice, and tonight, I’m feeling a little rowdy. The opening melody of “Dr. Feelgood” blasts through the speakers, resulting in a loud cheer from tonight’s patrons. As I make my way back behind the bar, I get a few high fives from the guys and even more phone numbers slipped into my palm from the ladies. I wish I could confirm they’re all single, but the truth is they’re not.
Just a typical Saturday night at Burgers and Brew, the place I co-own with my three best friends. We all have our forte within the business, and mine’s behind the bar. Mixing drinks and slinging beers. That’s my life, and damn, what a life it is.
I slap Jasper on the back as I slide under the bar and jump right back in to filling drink orders. Everyone’s singing along, word for word to the ol’ 80’s hair band tune, as part of our weekend ritual. It’s an ode, a salute to our college days and the band we all grew up listening to. We built this business, taking an old brick building in downtown Stewart Grove and turning it into a staple.
Jasper’s the man in the kitchen, the one who comes up with the mouthwatering burger creations we’re known for. Isaac is the numbers guy, the man who keeps us in the black and our taxes completed on time. Jameson’s the muscle because he’s big and tattooed. But he’s more than that. Jameson is talented as fuck with a guitar and serves as our house musician Friday and Saturday nights. Then there’s me. Walker Meyer, bartender extraordinaire, who keeps the beer flowing, the panties melting, and the tips rolling in.
We’re the Brew Crüe, and damn proud of it.
“Dance, dance, dance, dance,” the crowd starts to chant, encouraging me to do what I do every weekend when we play Mötley Crüe.
When I glance over at Jasper, he’s already shaking his head, but there’s no missing his wide grin. He knows what’s coming. Placing my hands on the bar top, I jump, hoisting myself up on the aged oak. Patrons erupt into cheers as I grin down at them. Mostly, at the ladies. The single ones and even the not-so-single ones. No, I’m not taking any of them home, but that doesn’t mean I can’t give them one hell of a show.
I twist my ballcap around so it’s on backward and start to swing my hips. Mama blessed me with moves, which helps almost double my tips every night. Women go crazy for a man who can dance. That’s evident by the number of panties that’ll be thrown behind the bar in a matter of moments.
Swaying my hips, I do a little dip and grind, popping my ass out and sending the ladies in the front row into cardiac arrest. They scream and reach for my pant legs, digging their nails into the denim. Instead of shaking them off, I wink and carefully walk a few steps away. Then, when we get to the refrain in the song, I throw my arms out to the side and belt out the words, everyone singing along with me.
It’s like karaoke.
As the song winds down, I steal the drink in Jasper’s hand and hold it up over my head. Everyone in the bar does the same. We sing. I dance and drink. The panties start flying.
When an old Hank Williams’ song starts up on the jukebox, I throw the crowd a wave and a grin and hop off the top of my bar. Drink orders come flying, and it’s all we can do to keep up with them. By the time I holler last call, we’re exhausted. Jameson starts to shoo everyone out, including the tall blonde who has been throwing me those fuck-me eyes for the last thirty minutes. Oh yeah, she was ready to go home with me, but little does she know, I don’t fuck where I eat.
I don’t sleep with employees or patrons, no matter how much they try.
And they do try.
Kallie, one of the bartenders, heads out to start cleaning tables, while Jameson follows behind, picking up the chairs and placing them on top of the tables. Jasper plays some ZZ Top, relaxing a bit after working all night in the kitchen.
“Hey, Jameson, grab a case of Ultra,” I holler to