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Chapter 1



Grace didn't often let her hair down. In her job she was used to being responsible and mature, acting as a role model to the impressionable young. But here she was in a slightly salubrious bar, one that had a rail installed up above the bar itself to support drunken dancers who felt the need to strut their stuff high above, amongst the beer pumps. Grace wasn't going to let her hair down THAT much, but she was going to drink shots, and laugh, and dance, and maybe even smoke a cigarette or two. Her friends were dancing up a storm, swishing their long hair, swaying their hips, getting the attention of every guy in the place. Hayley, whose bachelorette night it was, was dressed in a miniature white dress complete with gaudy tiara and tiny veil. She was exposing the ridiculous length of her legs and enjoying every appreciative leer she was getting. Danielle, with her ample curves, actually had a guy's face pushed into her cleavage. Grace mouthed 'Oh my God' at Clarice who was classy enough to be merely swaying to the music, glass of white wine in hand.

She hadn't felt this relaxed in a long time. She knew it was because she was well past tipsy; pretty much a whole bottle of champagne and way too many shots had seen to that, but for once she didn't care. She was sick of feeling uptight all the time, wound up like a spring, constantly worrying about something, usually worrying about Brandon. Tonight she wasn't worried about a thing. She was just letting go to the music and the wild feel-good atmosphere. She knew she looked good tonight too. Her long blonde hair was freshly highlighted and it swung free in soft waves, glad to be out of the tight chignon she usually wore. She wore a red strappy dress that showed off her shapely shoulders. She felt beautiful and free and happy.

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