Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000447_00008]

It was a night like any other for his gang. Drinking, smashing bars up, running from the cops. It was what they did for fun. And the fact it was New Year’s only sweetened the deal. Free-flowing alcohol, girls dancing with very little inhibitions, and loud music. It was paradise.
Gilbert Ryder Thompson looked up from the bar towards the swaying mass of bodies writhing against each other, grinding and shifting to the thump of the bass. The music rang in his ears, filling them and sending his pulse into the same rhythm, a heavy dance track that begged for movement against strangers. The singer crooned something about ‘love forever’ as the bass kicked up a notch, driving like a tribal drum. Ryder snorted as he raised the glass of bourbon to his lips. Love forever. Give me a break.
The nightclub was lit up with blinking fluorescents, casting every colour across the sweating faces of the dancers. He leaned back against the polished bar surface behind, a slab of speckled grey marble coated in sticky residue from knocked over drinks, taking an large sip of the amber liquid in his hand. Ryder might have been a thug, but he could appreciate the finer forms of alcohol. Like father, like son, I guess. Like mum, too. His fingers tightened against the thin glass at the thought of his parents, the skin turning white as he gripped it harder. The sip became a draught, and he finished off the drink with a smack of his lips, slamming the glass down onto the bar. The bartender gave him a raised eyebrow, but said nothing before racing over to serve someone at the other end.
A woman caught Ryder’s eye, lost somewhere in the middle of the crowd. She was gyrating wildly against her friend, her long blond hair falling across her shoulders in clumped strands, her mini-skirt riding up her arse as she swivelled her hips. A long ladder had stretched down the back of her tights, but she didn’t seem to care much about her appearance as she held her hands in the air with the beat turning up, a bottle of cheap alcopop in one palm. Ryder gave a satisfied grunt as he watched the woman twisting to the music, shifting his hips against the tight, ripped jeans he wore, his eyes travelling down her form. His crotch twitched in response to his thoughts, and he ran a slow tongue across his lips. Drunk, barely dressed, and hot. Just how I like ‘em. To his delight, the woman looked up for a moment towards him and caught his eye, biting her lip at his figure. Ryder’s lips curved into a confident grin, and he tilted his chin back, making it clear he was watching her.
He knew he looked good tonight. Hell, he looked good every night. If there was one thing he had learned about a certain kind of woman, it was that they rocked the bad boy look, and they didn’t care if you were a bastard beneath it. Hair dyed dark blue and twisted into a modern quiff, a close-fitting leather biker jacket over his torso, he stood out in a crowd without having to utter a word. As he stared at the woman, just about ready to nod her across, she collapsed to the dancefloor as she tripped over her own feet. Giggling hysterically, she teetered herself upright as her friend helped her up again, managing to keep the bottle of alcohol carefully balanced in her outstretched hand. Ryder raised his eyebrows and swiftly turned around, striding further into the darkness of the club. I like drunk, but not that drunk. She’d throw up on me before we even got to taking her lack-of-bra off.

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