A Red Behind the Bar

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For 51 year old Kelly Flynn, owner and operator of The Village Inn, a rather rundown dive bar in the sleepy town of Newport in central New York, March 20th was just another day. Because Spring had not yet come she would only get the locals, and so soon after many of them had tied one too many on for St. Patrick’s Day, the bar would likely be quiet.

For Denise Swanson, March 20th was a significant day because it happened to be her birthday, and this particular birthday was special because she would be turning 21. This meant that she would be allowed into The Village Inn, and while that might not seem to be a big deal to most, it was the only option for nightlife and entertainment within 10 miles. In fact, besides the bar and an auto body shop the only other viable business nearby was the convenience store Denise worked at.

While Denise was not unfamiliar with alcohol, having joined other young people around the sparsely populated area for beer parties in the woods, that wasn’t what made Denise wait for the day she could go to the Village inn. The allure wasn’t the ragged local garage bands that played there every other Saturday night or so either, although even that might be a welcome relief from watching television.

No, what Denise was interested in was the owner of the bar, Kelly Flynn, and ever since she laid eyes on the cheerful redhead when Denise had first started working at Stewart’s after high school, Denise Swanson was in love. Not a crush, like Miss Crabbe the school librarian, had been. No, this was love and it had only grown stronger over the last 3 years or so.

Kelly would stop by the Stewart’s every day and the girl’s heart would race. Kelly was always wearing tops with the bar logo on them, either t-shirts or sweatshirts, and Denise loved the ones that had short-sleeves because they showcased the freckles on Kelly’s forearms. That was something that really turned Denise on for some reason and she had always fantasized about how much farther up Kelly’s pale arms the freckles went. Maybe along her broad shoulders and back too.

Kelly was always very friendly to Denise, but the girl realized that she was probably that way with most people. The woman certainly knew she existed, but Denise doubted that the woman felt like she did. There were rumors about the bar owner’s sexuality, but that didn’t mean anything because Newport was a gossipy town. Still, Kelly wasn’t married and if there was a man around in her life he kept a really low profile, so there was always a chance for the girl although not if the only contact the two had was the brief interactions at the store.


Denise frowned when she looked at her reflection in the mirror. Her hair looked decent after one of her rare trips to the stylist, her short blonde hair cut even shorter, but it was down below that bothered the newly minted 21 year old. The blouse she had bought especially for this night was beautiful, a lavender semi-sheer sleeveless top with ruffled shoulder caps, but the problem was that the catalog’s claim that it was semi-sheer seemed to be a stretch.

To Denise’s eyes you could see everything pretty clearly through the gauze, and while that might have been great for a lot of girls it only made her shortcomings more apparent. What Denise often derisively referred to as her ‘mosquito bites’ were on display if you looked at the right angle, even if perky lemons might be a more accurate description of her breasts. What was worse was that the feel of the silky material against her nipples made them stiff, drawing even more attention.

Reluctantly Denise went to Plan B, putting a bra on under the blouse, but the minute she saw what that looked like the young woman cringed and quickly shed the harness. The blouse went back on, and she hoped that the lighting in the dingy bar was weak. She could wear her jacket over it, but that would defeat the purpose of spending $24 she couldn’t afford for something nice to hopefully get Kelly’s attention.

It was a 5 minute walk from Denise’s apartment to the Village Inn, and with Stewart’s only 50 yards past that, the young woman’s life was centralized, so who needs a car, Denise reasoned. She did, Denise noted to herself as she went out into the brisk evening air. What kind of a life was this to be a captive in Newport, New York? Denise had a former classmate who she would hang out with, and Carly would take her to the big city for groceries every once in a while, but that was it as far as getting around went.

Utica, Denise mumbled to herself as she began walking. Big city. Where did this all go wrong? Mom dying certainly was the trigger, but what really sent her life off the rails was when her father ended up in prison over in Marcy. Not that he was anything but a worthless son-of-a bitch anyway, but back then at least they had a little house and a car. Denise put up with him creeping around watching her get undressed after Mom died, but in retrospect she knew that the old man was getting more bold all the time so by now it would have been a nightmare.

There was The Village Inn ahead, with lights on güvenilir canlı bahis siteleri and two cars in the parking lot. How many times had she come down here and just looked in through the cloudy windows? She had even tried to use fake proof a couple of times to get in but they were obvious fakes. Now she was going in, walking past the aging and sizzling neon “Utica Club” and “Labatt” neon signs and into the bar. There was no fanfare, just five people sitting at the bar and Kelly standing behind it, a smile making her ruddy complexion glow as she watched Denise find a stool a bit away from the crowd.

She recognized all of the people drinking there, customers of Stewart’s, and while she didn’t know them by name a few knew her and called out her name. It wasn’t like the calls of “Norm!” on “Cheers”, but her none-too-lofty position of cashier and assistant manager at the store gave her a degree of fame, such as it was in Newport.

“Denis – Denis – Denis,” Kelly laughed as she came down across from her, wearing a sweatshirt that had the sleeves torn off at the biceps. “What have you got for me this time?”

Denis was what Kelly often called her, and that was in reference to the little name tag she had to wear at the store. Whoever made the original thing had omitted the “e” and it took until recently for the outfit to get her a proper one, and Kelly had kept calling her Denis. Anybody else would have gotten a dirty look or worse, but this was Kelly and that made it alright.

“I’ve got this!” Denise chirped as she pulled her driver’s license out of her jacket pocket, nearly dropping it as she handed it to Kelly while her eyes went to the barkeep’s freckled arms.

“Hmm… looks real,” Kelly said as she looking over the license and then smirked at her. “Denise Marie Swanson March 20th… how about that! 21. You made it.”

“I thought it would never happen,” Denise admitted.

“What can I get the birthday girl?” Kelly asked and then quipped, “but anybody who spends their birthday in here needs more help than alcohol can possibly provide.”

“Um… let me see,” Denise mused as she looked at the three taps.

Utica Club, or Uncle Charlie as her old man called it, was a local brew and although she was no gourmet Denise though it was nasty even when she would swipe a quart of it out of the fridge. Bud was the middle tap, but the girl looked at the last tap and pointed at that, put a twenty on the bar and said, “Labatt.”

“You realize that if I announce it’s your birthday you probably won’t have to spent a cent,” Kelly chuckled as she leaned on the bar but Denise shook her head no.

“Please don’t,” she asked and Kelly nodded.

“Understood. Want a mug?”

“Sure,” Denise replied, and then Kelly looked above the taps and grabbed one of the mugs hanging on hooks.

Denise’s heart skipped more than one beat as she got the briefest of looks as the short ragged sleeve rode up, exposing more freckles on the outside of her arm, but better yet was the glimpse of the inside of the limb. The skin was ghostly white but the prize at the bottom of the cracker jack box for the cashier was the spray of bright orange hair under her muscled arm. Not unexpected by Denise but if anything the fur made Kelly even sexier if that was possible, and just in case somebody else came in and got a mug Denise moved a stool closer so she could see better.

Kelly put the mug under the spout, pulled on the Labatt tap and after a little bit of beer came out there was a blast of foam, some of it landing on Kelly. That meant the keg had kicked and got some chuckles from the bar flies as it erupted, along with an offer to get a replacement.

“Be glad to get it for you, Red,” the guy Denise knew from the garage offered, but Kelly declined.

“With my luck you’d break your neck and end up owning this place,” Kelly snickered as she headed for the room behind the bar, adding as she departed, “come to think of it, that wouldn’t be a bad idea.”

As the regulars chuckled Denise thought about Kelly being called “Red”. She knew most people called Kelly that, but Denise was not one of them. Red might be a common nickname for redheads but the girl loved the name Kelly and never used anything else when talking to her.

Denise watched Kelly come out from out back, carrying a big silver keg that judging by the sound it made when the bartender set it down, must weigh a ton. Kelly didn’t even blink, although the muscles in her meaty arms bulged as she moved, and as she knelt and uncoupled the spent one to replace the keg, Denise got up the nerve to stand up and take off her jacket, placing it on the back of her stool.

Denise heard mumbling from the men at the end of the bar but nothing discernible so she sat back down as Kelly tested the flow of the new keg. She then set the foam filled mug under the bar and came over and reached up again for a replacement, and from her improved vantage point the view was even better.

“I’m sorry,” Denise said, realizing that Kelly had said something while she had been mesmerized by her arms.

“I güvenilir illegal bahis siteleri said that judging by that blouse you must have a big night planned,” Kelly repeated. “That’s a fashion statement we don’t get often at The Village Inn.”

“No,” Denise responded as the mug was set on a coaster in front of her. “This is it.”

“You’re kidding! In that case, this one is on me,” Kelly declared and shrugged off the girl’s protest while adding with a touch of sarcasm, “Besides, you’ll be coming in here every night for the rest of your life so I’ll get it back in spades.”

“I might,” Denise mumbled as her heart pounded, the result of Kelly approving of her blouse, and was that more than a glance at her chest because goodness knows her nipples were throbbing and threatening to tear through the silk.

“Say Red, you ought to get a blouse like that,” one stool moistener quipped. “Business might pick up.”

“I think not.”

“Maybe we’ll chip in and buy you one from Christmas.”

“You buy it and I’ll wear it,” Kelly offered with a wink towards the birthday girl. “The only reason I say that is because you cheap bastards only reach into your pockets for one thing.”

The boys roared at that and as things went back to Village Inn-normal Denise sipped her beer and tried not to stare at the Amazon behind the bar, and the girl passed the time by imagining Kelly doing ridiculous things, like picking her up and putting her on top of the bar or waiting until everyone but her left and peeling that sweatshirt up and over her head.

Guys left and a couple of new arrivals came in, with one of them stopping abruptly and leaning on the bar next to Denise, grinning moronically and offering to buy her a drink while her eyes burned holes in her blouse.

“Thanks but I’m waiting for someone,” Denise mumbled and as she did Kelly came to the rescue by coming down and asking the guys what she could get them.

While the guys were clowns they did order mugs of Utica Club, thus affording Denise the pleasure of seeing most of Kelly’s freckled arms a couple more times, and after the new patrons found a seat away from Denise the birthday girl slid her mug across the bar and asked Kelly for a refill.

“Pacing yourself well little lady,” Kelly noted. “I don’t see much of that around here, and by the way the bozos down there figured out it was your birthday so you have a couple more coming.”

“Oh,” Denise groaned but then gave a weak wave towards the men and thanked them.

“Get you a fresh mug,” Kelly declared with a smile, and as she reached up Denise did her best not to stare while her mind raced, wondering whether Kelly was just being nice or putting on a show for her.

Either option worked for Denise who set about trying to nurse this mug for as long as the first one, and she succeeded because it was 11 when Denise was ready for another one. That coincided with the last customers leaving, and as Kelly approaching and saw her empty mug she grinned.

“Last call Denise,” Kelly announced, her calling the girl by her actual name not unnoticed. “I think the crowd has gone.”

“Oh, you must want to close up, don’t you Kelly?” Denise asked. “You don’t have to pour…”

“No problem and besides, it will be nice to just have a normal person across the bar for a while,” Kelly told her as she replaced the mug and filled it, and after sliding it to the girl the owner went over and pulled the strings that killed the glowing beer signs, leaving the Village Inn with lighting that some might call dim but what Denise thought was romantic.

They chatted while Kelly did the dishes at the sinks under the bar, which for the Village Inn consisted of mugs and glasses since the only food they had there were the cheese crackers and little bags of peanuts on the wire rack behind the bar. As Denise watched the bartender moving the glassware from sink to sink she offered to help.

“I dirtied most of them,” Denise reminded the barkeep. “I would really like to help.”

“Relax birthday girl,” Kelly told her. “And for the record you only used three. I can tell because they’re the only ones with lip gloss on the rim.”

“You didn’t have to give me a new mug every time though.”

“It gave me a chance to come down and talk with you,” Kelly noted.

“Oh. The way you were hanging down at the other end, I figured I was just being a pain.”

“Hardly, it’s just that – well, the reason will come to you in time, but I loved having you in here and I hope you’ll come back occasionally to brighten my nights.

“Of course I will!”

“Not TOO often. Becoming a regular in a place like this is as much of a dead end as it is to own it.

“Not much else to do around Newport,” Denise observed.

“You have a point there.”

“Um – after you lock up, would you like to go out? I don’t have a car but I have money. I noticed you didn’t drink at all so if you were willing to drive…” the girl asked, and was stunned when those words came out of her mouth.

“You mean would I like to go to a güvenilir bahis şirketleri bar after being in here for over 12 hours?” Kelly snickered and then after she saw the expression on the girl’s face, added, “I would love to but I don’t really drink much these days. I tended to get a little nasty when I was drinking more anyway, and running a business when you’re half out of it isn’t a good idea.”

“Maybe some other time? Like go to a movie?” Denise said hopefully but Kelly shrugged her shoulders.

“I’m here 7 days a week,” she said with a little annoyance. “These regulars – they even have me opening Christmas and Easter evenings around 5 because they get fed up hanging with the family and come here. It’s busy as hell too.”

“We’re open those days too,” Denise noted. “All the same to me.”

“Your old man, will he be getting out of prison anytime soon?”

“Hope not.”

“That bad huh?”

“When he gets out I’ll be disappearing but that won’t be for at least 7 years. With the house gone there’s nothing for me here – much.”

“Might not be a bad idea to find yourself a better job. That place would collapse without you, and you’re on your feet all the time. Trust me that is not a good thing. This place? It’s killing me. After lugging cases and kegs around from the cellar all day I’m ready to jump into a hot tub and soothe my aching muscles. Too bad I don’t have one.”

“I could give you a massage,” Denise blurted out.

“You know how to give massages?” Kelly said with a upraised red eyebrow.

“Uh – maybe?” Denise replied, and that got a loud laugh from the bar owner who dried her hands and came around the bar to where Denise was sitting, clicking the latch of the front door along the way.

“First of all, a word of advice,” Kelly said as she sat on the stool next to the girl and spun to face her. “You make a offer like that about anything, if you want to get where you want to go you don’t suggest anything but total confidence in your skills. In that case you should have said, ‘of course, I give great massages!'”

“But that would be a lie because I don’t know how.”

“By the time I figured that out it wouldn’t matter,” Kelly explained and then reached over and put her hand on Denise’s shoulder. “Look, at the risk of maybe coming off as a fool, I have to tell you that I’m flattered beyond words.”

“That obvious?” Denise mumbled.

“All night,” Kelly acknowledged. “Denise, I’ve never lacked for confidence but you’re out of my league. Here, look at us.”

With that the older woman spun the girl’s seat around so they both faced the mirror behind the bar which was partially obscured by liquor bottles.

“Look at us. You’re young, full of life and are cute beyond words,” Kelly explained and then frowned and continued. “And me? A tired broken down old dyke, but…”

Kelly’s words caught in the throat as she felt the girl’s lips press against her ruddy cheek, and when the bartender turned on the stool to face Denise, the girl’s grayish-blue eyes were watery and her lower lip was quivering.

“Don’t say that,” Denise managed to get out before the older woman took her face in her weathered hands and drew her close, and the kiss the girl got was nothing like the one she had given Kelly.

The younger woman tried to keep her balance on the stool from the force of the kiss and because the room was spinning around, and managed to get her arms around Kelly as the kiss ended and the redhead kissed her way down to the girl’s neck before straightening up to look at the stunned girl’s face.

“I think you mentioned something about a massage,” Kelly said as she eased down off the stool and took the girl by the hand, leading her to the door at the back of the bar which Denise learned led to an apartment the owner lived in, a large studio which while not elegant was much nicer than the business it was attached to and palatial compared to her own place.

“Would you like something to drink?” Kelly offered but Denise was shaking her head before she finished the question, and she got the same response when she asked if the girl was alright.

“I’m great,” Denise said as she nodded at the clock and noted, “five minutes until midnight.”

“Afraid the Village Inn will turn into a pumpkin?” the redhead grinned as she took the petite blonde in her arms and pressed her puffy lips against Denise’s while sliding her tongue in to duel. The two of them lost their balance a little, and after Kelly’s back leaned against the wall they both giggled.

“We better find someplace soft to land before we kill ourselves,” Kelly said and she went over into a side room and came out with a bottle of lotion, telling the girl that was the bathroom if she needed it.

“I better,” Denise said as she hurried into the bathroom to deposit the beer, and when she came out the lights had been dimmed and Kelly was naked on the bed face down in the sheets with the bottle of lotion on the night table.

The little blonde approached the bed like a cat, her eyes fixed on the woman of her dreams who looked even more amazing than her wildest dreams had pictured her, and Denise stood there at the foot of the bed taking it all in while lowering her own slacks and stepping out of them. The petite blonde might have stood there for a long time with her hand rubbing the front of her soggy panties if the bar owner didn’t speak up.

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