"Why are you making me do this?" Nico complained, twirling his skull ring around his finger and longing for his comfy bed. The cold night air flooding into the open window lashed at his face, but he welcomed the pain, it was almost soothing.
Jason, his best friend, stared at the road ahead of them. The muscles in his broad shoulders were tensed from being hunched in the car so long, how he detested New York traffic. Jason sighed. "As I've told you a million times, you need to get out, so I'm taking you out."
Nico scowled at the passing lights, wishing more than anything to be back home where he could hide under his covers and forget the world. Forget him. Nico shook his head, pulling away from those thoughts. The ones that made his heart ache and soul burn until he was a sobbing mess on the bathroom floor. Twirling his ring faster, he asked impatiently, "Where are we going?"
Jason didn't take his eyes off the road, honking at a taxi that pulled in front of them without signaling making the car jerk to a sudden stop. "Mayhem."
Nico had to resist the urge to groan. Not Mayhem, he thought miserably, memories threatening to resurface. "You know how I feel about that place, Jace."
Jason spared him a sympathetic glance. "It's the best nightclub in all of New York City, there will be plenty of guys there for you to get lost in."
"Not to mention Piper works there, right?" Nico said, his tone barely hiding its condescension.
At a stop light, Jason looked imploringly at him. "You can't stay mad at her forever, Neeks."
Nico scoffed. "You bet your ass I can. She's the one who introduced Annabeth to Percy, remember? Everything would've been fine if she hadn't butted in!" That was a lie, Nico and Percy had been having problems before Annabeth had even been in the picture, but they'd been working through them… if they'd just had more time… they could've gotten through it. That's what he told himself anyway.
Jason pulled into the underground parking garage that served as the entrance to Mayhem. It was packed, as always, but since Jason was dating one of the owner's favorite waitresses he got VIP parking. Nico had the theory that Piper was sleeping with said owner, but he didn't dare suggest anything like that to Jason. Getting out of the car, Nico could feel the bass of the music vibrating the concrete floor. It only got louder as they neared the veiled double-door entrance.
The bouncer, Frank, waved us in, his huge bear-like frame blocking most of the doorway. Inside was exactly what the name suggested: mayhem. Strobe lights made the whole scene look purple. A long bar with stools ran along the entire left wall, the rest of the space was dancing room with a DJ on the far right near the staircase that led up to the VIP area. The music was so loud it made Nico's ear pound, and Jason had to press his mouth right up against Nico's ear so he could even hear him.
"I'M GONNA FIND PIPER." Jason shouted though it sounded muted with all the other sounds fighting to make it into Nico's brain first. Jason started off through the thick crowd of sweating, dancing/grinding bodies, after only a moment Nico couldn't even see the top of Jason's tall blond head.
Nico sighed and made his way to the bar, hopping up into the metal seat and propping his elbows on the sticky counter. Hiding his face in his hands, he kept repeating to himself, "Why did I let him bring me here… why did I let him bring me here…"
"Tough day?" A voice shouted across from him and Nico lifted his head. His eyes bulged at the gorgeous face staring back at him.
Nico's brain failed to form words for several moments, staring at the man. He had bright blonde hair (though it looked purple in the passing lights) and clear gem blue eyes. The man's face was tan and his body lean and muscular (that much Nico could tell from the tightness of his black shirt). Finally, Nico managed a smile. "Yeah," He shouted, his eyes finding the man's name tag. It read 'Will'. "My friend dragged me here so."
Will smiled and Nico had to fight the urge to drool. "Well, can I get you a drink…?" He trailed off his sentence as if expecting Nico's name.
"Nico," Nico said, his voice squeaking a bit, and he prayed to the gods that the music was too loud for Will to notice. Holding out his hand, he reiterated, "My name's Nico. Nico di Angelo."
Will's smile grew. "Nice to meet you, Nico di Angelo. I'm Will Solace." The men shook hands and Nico was surprised at how calloused Will's hand was.
A little down the bar, a short and skinny man with messy brown hair shouted, "Stop flirting with the customers, Solace!"
Nico could've sworn Will blushed as he withdrew his hand, reaching under the bar and pulling out a glass. "About that drink?"
Nico faltered, staring at Will's cheeks. "Uh, the strongest thing you've got, please." Will set to work on the drink, avoiding Nico's eyes. It was insanely cute.
Slamming the full shot on the counter in front of Nico, Will grinned. "Drink up."
Nico eyed the glass then Will. "What's in it?"
Will's eyes hid a mischievous glint. "You asked for the strongest we got, this is a little something I invented myself. I call it The Seventh Sin."
Nico couldn't help it, he snorted. "The Seventh Sin? What's that supposed to even mean?"
Will's grin increased. "You're just gonna have to drink it, or are you scared?"
Without replying, Nico took the shot and swallowed it in one gulp, slamming the glass back on the counter upside down. His throat burned, but he didn't let it show. "That's the strongest you've got?"
Will stared at him with an expression of mixed awe and hunger. "Well that's the seventh sin, we have six more to go."
Nico smirked. "Bring it on."