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All In
Author: Erica Marselas






"What the hell did I get myself into?" I mumble to myself as I walk into the massive convention center and find myself surrounded by thousands of people dressed as their favorite comic characters. I dig through my purse to pull out my phone to call my friend when Superman bumps into me, pushing me forward. My phone bounces across the carpet floor.

“Great.” I bend down to retrieve it when a man dressed in a black and red alien suit with horns sticking out everywhere rams into me, knocking me flat on my ass.

“Watch it, lady,” he says gruffly before walking away

The nerve. Does anyone here have manners?

This isn't how my day was supposed to go.

I should be at work—as planned—going over cabinet colors and tiles for a client's half a million-dollar new kitchen remodel. Instead, I'm now getting ogled by a cyclops.

My roommate, Amanda, called me in a panic, telling me she got into a fight with her boyfriend and he left her stranded. So, she asked me to come to pick her up. Supposedly, I was her only option.

What she forgot to mention was she was at a sold-out Comic Con convention. I had to park five blocks away, pay the expensive day rate for parking, and now I have to hunt her down through this insane crowd gathered in the convention hall lobby.

I’m not allowed past the massive doors leading into the convention without a ticket, and I don’t see any sign of my bubbly roommate anywhere. Though it’s hard to make out who is who through the crowd of costumed people. Besides me. Who sticks out like a sore thumb looking more like Lois Lane than Black Widow.

I move to find a safe corner, away from all the chaos, and pull out my phone to call Amanda. “Holly. Hey,” she answers with a chirp on the third ring.

"Where are you?"

"I'm inside the Hilton.”

"Okay? That's where I am." And so are a thousand other people. “But where are you?”

"I'm the one dressed as Wonder Woman."

I roll my eyes. "There's literally like a hundred people dressed as Wonder Woman here. What are you doing at a Comic Con anyway?"

"It's a long story. Listen, there's a bar on the lower floor; meet me there. I’ll be there once I get Will Wheaton’s autograph."

"Alright. You can't miss me. I look like the average Joe among the superheroes. You know, the one who actually needs saving."

"Shut up. You’re fine." Amanda giggles.

"You think if I'm lucky, I can find myself a hot Loki?" I joke.

"If you do, find me his brother. I'll be down in a few once I get through this crowd."

The hotel bar is not as crazy as the upstairs, but I still need to weave myself through the crew of the Enterprise and two Princess Leias to find a seat.

I nestle myself on the stool of the long bar, grab the attention of one of the bartenders, and order a glass of their best mid-priced Merlot.

While I wait, I go through some work emails. I have tons of angry messages from my boss for leaving in the middle of a meeting and a few from the client. Hopefully, if I answer my client’s questions, making them happy, it will lessen the blow with my boss on Monday.

Doubt it though.

"Can I get a whiskey? Neat." A gruff voice comes from beside me, grabbing me away from my email.

A man with a red cape, golden locks, and biceps that should be illegal stands before me.

Well, I might not have found a hot Loki, but I did find his fine brother, Thor.

The bartender pushes a napkin to him as he slides onto the stool.

He hunches over, staring down at the bar looking like he has the weight of the world bearing down on his shoulders. His beard is slightly unkempt, while you can tell the rest of him isn't.

The bartender places his drink down, and he quickly picks it up and downs it. He slams the glass back on the counter and asks for another.

He glances over at me, and my cheeks heat from being caught staring at the Norse god. I’m grateful when my phone beeps with a new text from Amanda, though I can still feel Thor’s eyes boring into me.

Amanda: Brian found me and told me he's sorry. He’s going to take me home. Thank you for coming though. I owe you.


"Seriously," I scoff. I should’ve known. This is so typical of her. She always makes me come out somewhere and then leaves me.


I’m at the bar. You want to come by and say hi?


Amanda: We already left. :(


Are you okay?


I double-check just to make sure she is alright. Maybe Brian pulled her by her hair out the door, but I doubt it.


Amanda: I’m great, I swear. It was just a misunderstanding. You know how I get.


As long as you're okay.


Amanda: Yep. You’re the best roomie ever.


Wow. No thank you?

I stab the power button to turn off the offending screen, pick up my glass of wine, and down it, just like the man beside me did moments ago. I’m pissed. Beyond pissed. She cost me not only thirty dollars for parking but a day's pay. I should have known it wasn’t that urgent. She and her boyfriend are always butting heads, and then an hour later, they’re making up.

I should’ve waited before coming down here.

The bar fills with more cosplayers, and the energy and excitement of the place builds. Music pipes through the speakers and I hear someone mention karaoke. That could be interesting. So screw it, since I already paid for the day I might as well make my time of it.

I wave down the bartender. “Excuse me, can I get a shot of tequila. Lime and salt. Thanks.”

"Everything okay?" God of Thunder eyes me curiously. “Wine to tequila is a big jump.”

"Umm…" I shake my head. "No. My friend bailed after I came all this way to get her thinking she was deserted."

"Some friend," he snorts. “I know what that’s like.”

"Yeah. I left hours of work and an angry boss to come here." I sigh and lose myself momentarily in the haze of his chocolate eyes. "I'm sure you don't want to hear about my woes." I give a gentle smile.

You look like you have a million problems by just looking into your eyes.

“Let’s just say, you’re not alone in your woes.” He smirks. “I mean, I’m just dressed up as a superhero, drinking alone at a bar. Not a single friend around myself.” He shrugs and wraps his fingers around his newly refilled glass.

“Touché. I'm Holly, by the way." I brush my shoulder against his in a poor attempt to flirt.

He tilts his head back over to me, his golden wig slipping slightly revealing his brown locks. "That's a very Jolly name." He gives me a crooked smile as his eyes roam over me.

I roll my eyes. "You should really stick to trying to save Asgard rather than making jokes."

"I have always been told I'm shit at making jokes, but what’s the harm in trying."

“Sorry for the delay,” the bartender says, sliding my shot of tequila over to me. He lays the lime on the napkin beside it.

“Thanks,” I tell the bartender and then edge in closer to the handsome stranger beside me. “Well, are you going to tell me your name? Or are you going to make me guess? I’m pretty sure it’s not Thor.”

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